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Ken Borland

Proteas have much to ponder ahead of 2nd T20 v India 0

Posted on December 02, 2022 by Ken

The Proteas have much to ponder ahead of the second T20 against India in Guwahati on Sunday, following their dismal batting performance in the first match that saw their top-order utterly fail, sinking to 9-5.

While the fight shown by Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram and Wayne Parnell with the bat was pleasing, setting a target of just 107 for victory was never going to give India much pause for thought, even on a pitch which was made to look like a minefield by the South African top-order.

While there are some injury doubts over wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock after he needed on-field treatment for a blow to the fingers while trying to take a leg-side wide from fast bowler Anrich Nortje, whether the formerly prolific left-hander should be in the team even if fit is also starting to cause debate.

De Kock has scored just 137 runs in his last 12 T20 innings for the Proteas, and is striking at just 103.78.

Amongst all the other worries about the batting, the loss of form of their talismanic opener is the last thing the Proteas need.

While the South Africans were still trying to digest their batting display, Indian spearhead Jasprit Bumrah received the awful news that he probably has a stress fracture of the back and has been withdrawn from the series and is likely to miss the T20 World Cup.

The fact that the Proteas were reduced to 9-5 by India’s second-choice new-ball pairing of Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Chahar, with Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar not even playing, makes their batting effort even more terrible.

With their captain, Temba Bavuma, under immense pressure to score runs, they have now got themselves into a pickle with the skipper getting a duck in the first match. Interestingly, Bavuma has actually scored 237 runs in his last 12 T20 innings for South Africa, at a strike-rate of 111.26.

So De Kock, with a hundred runs less and an inferior run-rate, should certainly be in the conversation when it comes to changes. It would be an awfully big step for the selectors to make, but it is a shocking waste of form to see the prolific Reeza Hendricks not playing.

But bringing in Hendricks for De Kock would necessitate another change with Heinrich Klaasen needing to come in and keep wicket, unless the gloves are entrusted to Tristan Stubbs, who is very much a part-timer.

It’s a dreadful mess the selectors have got themselves into.

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