Proteas pleased with Phangiso’s return

A month ago, Phangiso, a left-arm spinner, was reported for a suspect action. However, he got his action cleared after a rehab to board a plane to India last week.

Aaron Phangiso's form will be crucial for South Africa to win its maiden ICC World Twenty20.   -  AP

You didn’t need to take a second look at the Jamtha wicket to assume spinners will play a decisive role here in the World Twenty20. South Africa, who has never won a world event, will be hoping that Aaron Phangiso will provide good support to leggie Imran Tahir.

A month ago, Phangiso, a left-arm spinner, was reported for a suspect action. However, he got his action cleared after a rehab to board a plane to India last week.

His first look in a match scenario came during the Proteas’ warm-up against Mumbai XI, including four South Africans, at the Brabourne stadium on Tuesday. His three overs, which conceded 18 runs and yielded him the wicket of opener Shashank Singh, was one of the most pleasing factors for the camp on Tuesday.

“We have put a lot of work back at home with him. Very pleased with how he has come today, obviously in the nets as well,” said Claude Henderson, Proteas’ spin bowling coach. “A lot of things we have worked on back home, changed his run-up. All positive now.”

Phangiso barely had a week to take corrective measures on his action for retaining his place in the squad. Henderson, himself a left-arm spinner during his playing days, attributed the young bowler’s mental strength for erasing doubts over his action at such a short notice.

“(It was) very challenging. But the pleasing thing was he is mentally strong. He has got a lot of courage. Normally, a thing like this takes longer than four-five days, sometimes takes two months,” Henderson said.

Besides Phangiso, the other positive for South Africa was AB de Villiers, also making his first appearance, coming good with the willow. Thanks to de Villiers’ quick-fire fifty, South Africa overhauled Mumbai XI’s 188 for four in 17 overs.

Brief scores: Mumbai XI 188 for four (Akhil Herwadkar 61, David Wiese 34 not out, Shashank Singh 29) lost to South Africans 190 for two (Faf du Plessis 65 retd, AB de Villiers 52 not out, Hashim Amla 38).