SA vs IND, 1st ODI: South Africa ponders extra all-rounder against India

South Africa’s form in ODIs has been patchy, but as it builds towards the 2023 World Cup in India, it is looking to nail down its combinations.

FILE PHOTO: Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has also returned to bolster South Africa after his retirement from Test cricket at the age of 29 last month to focus on his white-ball game.   -  THE HINDU

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said it is mulling over whether to select a specialist batsman or all-rounder at number six for the opening One-Day International against India on Wednesday.

South Africa’s form in the 50-over format has been patchy, but as it builds towards the 2023 World Cup in India it is looking to nail down its combinations.

It has used Andile Phehlukwayo or Wiaan Mulder at six in the batting line-up recently, including the 2-1 series loss in Sri Lanka in September.

"As a captain you want as many resources as you can," Bavuma told reporters on Tuesday. "You have to accept that probably one bowler on the day won’t hits his straps.

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"I would like to have as many options as I can, taking into account the balance of the team."

Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has returned to bolster the squad after his retirement from Test cricket at the age of 29 last month to focus on his white-ball game.

"It is good to see Quinny again, we obviously missed him in the test team," Bavuma said. "But he has made his decision and we respect that. Knowing Quinny, he will have a point to prove."

Bavuma believes the side can take momentum into the ODIs from the surprise 2-1 test series win over the Indians.

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"It is a different format that involves a different skillset, but from a momentum and confidence point of view, we will be leaning on that to help inspire the other new guys to get us through the challenges and pressure we will be facing in the next three games," he said.

The first two matches of the ODI series will be played at Boland Park on Wednesday and Friday, before the final game in Cape Town on Sunday.

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