Pakistan v South Africa 2013-14 October 28, 2013

SA call on Kirsten to rejuvenate ODI batting

Despite having talented batsmen in their ODI batting line-up, South Africa have failed to produce match-winning performances in recent times
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South Africa's roping in of their former coach Gary Kirsten to mentor their batsmen between the second and third ODIs against Pakistan might indicate there are some doubts within the team. From the outside, it would seem South Africa are in a state of some stress. Their coach Russell Domingo has only been in charge for three months and has already lost four ODIs and one Test. His Twenty20 series victory in Sri Lanka has almost faded from memory and questions have abounded on whether he feels he needs help.

However, think back to when Kirsten chose not to renew his contract and Domingo was appointed his successor. "It would be foolish of me not to use Gary in some capacity," Domingo had said. This is not a cry for assistance. Domingo is making good on those words and using his predecessor for planning, rather than panicking.

Developing limited-overs batsmen is South Africa's most pressing task, and that is the reason they have recalled Kirsten. The ODI line-up has managed only one total over 250 in their last nine matches - 305 against India during a losing cause in the Champions Trophy in England. During their recent tour of Sri Lanka, South Africa were dismissed under 180 twice.

They struggled to get going with an unsettled opening combination that could not provide the middle order with anything to build on, and they had batsmen whose techniques were exposed against spin. At least one of those will change with the return of Graeme Smith at the top. Smith was recovering from ankle surgery during the Sri Lanka series, but has since returned to full fitness.

South Africa would have hoped for Smith and Hashim Amla to add stability as openers, but Amla may be absent for the first few matches because he is still awaiting the birth of his second child. The good news is that Colin Ingram, who is on standby in case Amla does not make, is the leading run-scorer in the domestic one-day cup. He has scored four fifties in four matches and, alongside Smith, may strengthen South Africa considerably.

South Africa also have some consistency in their line-up. In Sri Lanka, Domingo did away with the floating batting order and installed a more permanent one. He put JP Duminy at No.3, AB de Villiers at No.4 and Faf du Plessis at No.5. Farhaan Behardien and David Miller were interchangeable at Nos. 6 and 7 but with Behardien dropped, Miller has the chance to cement his position.

One of South Africa's few impressive batsmen over the last three months, Miller has shown he can switch between big hitting and playing a steadying role in the middle order. He scored an unbeaten 56 in the Champions Trophy semi-final, after South Africa crashed to 80 for 8, to take them to 175 with Rory Kleinveldt. In the third ODI in Sri Lanka - the only game that South Africa won - he made an aggressive and unbeaten 85.

Miller comes into this series on the back of two half-centuries for Dolphins in the one-day cup and an attitude of enhanced maturity. "I've been working on getting myself in and giving myself time. Once I'm in the boundaries will come," he said. "In Sri Lanka, we lost a lot of wickets in clusters. We're going to have to take more responsibility as a batting unit."

Wayne Parnell, who made 129 opening the batting for Warriors against Lions two weeks ago, will provide another all-round option, with Ryan McLaren and Robin Peterson also adding depth. Under Kirsten's guidance, the batsmen will have no excuse for letting their bowlers down, as they have done over the past few months.

South Africa's attack, however, will be without Dale Steyn for the first two matches, but they coped impressively in his absence in Sri Lanka. Lonwabo Tsotsobe overcame fitness concerns to bowl with control and understanding of the pace and length needed on slow subcontinent tracks. They also included Imran Tahir after his impressive showing in the T20s in Sri Lanka and will hope the confidence he gained from his successful Test comeback translates into the other formats.

The squad has the resources to put on a decent showing in what South Africa are calling the start of their build-up to the 2015 World Cup. Recent history, however, has shown that they've lacked something in the limited-overs format. It may have been chutzpah, creativity, or just plain concentration. With expectations high and everything to prove, they have no choice but to move up a gear in this series.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Consistency has been a problem for South African batsmen. You would definitely expect some consistent performances from JP Duminy and Faf Du Plessis. Apart from Hashim and De Villiers, other batsmen have performed at some occasions but haven't been consistent. With the batting order now almost fixed and everyone knowing their role properly, now is the time for performing best. This ODI series should definitely be an important series for preparing our squad for World Cup in 2015

  • POSTED BY Witty_Cricketer on | October 30, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    South Africa's main problem is their batting line up. Too much tinkering around under the name of flexibility is ridiculous. AB should come in at No.3 no matter what the situation is. His target should be to play at least 4 defining innings every 10 matches and he is perfectly capable of doing that,provided, he comes at No. 3.

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | October 30, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    They need to make senior player like Kallis play in ODIs instead of IPL and Champions League. Albie will make balance between new comers and experienced. Ingram hasnt displayed maturity with international cricket yet. This ODI team is still dependent on Amla who has carried in last 2-3 years single handedly.

  • POSTED BY Inducker on | October 30, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    The formula for introducing batsmen to international cricket is all wrong. They first seem to be exposed to T20 and one day internationals which favour batsmen taking chances and having ropey techniques. Batsmen as of old need to demonstrate solid techniques including defence which they can fall back on when they start out internationally and then to take it from there. One wonders whether the limited overs formula isn't also influencing the development of batsmen at junior level and is the prime reason for South Africa not being able to replace its current set of senior batsmen because the younger guys are simply not coming through.

  • POSTED BY Inducker on | October 30, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    SA selectors never learn. Ingram has already proved beyond reasonable doubt he is not an opener. His average is boosted by 2 centuries both at Bloemfontein and more often than not his top of the order failures put SA batting on the back foot. Batting stability begins with a sound opening partnership. They are now monkeying with batting order with Duminy in at no 3. Beginning to think that the present coach who has no international experience himself is out of his depth.

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | October 30, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    South Africa as a test outfit are peerless ... BUT ... although having the two top batsmen in the world in ODI's have failed to deliver ... On paper the side is most probably the best in the world ... On any day they can beat any side ... BUT ... South Africa have a tendency to get themselves out needlessly ... Trying to run quick singles that aren't there and trying to hit the cover off the ball every ball ... The one ODI I remember against New Zealand we had 5 run-outs ...

  • POSTED BY highveldhillbilly on | October 30, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    SA'a problem: Too many average players: McLaren, Robbie P, Faf, Ingram. Too unsettled: the batting order is all over the place, the bowling line up changes every game, no idea what we want. Too many inconsistent players: JP, Smith, Morris. Each on it's own can be over come but as a whole I feel them team looks like Swiss cheese. Thank goodness Berhardien is gone.

  • POSTED BY on | October 30, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    dont worry SA, pakistan will make sure your batsman will regain their batting forms! and winning streak..

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | October 29, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    @Smiling: I agree with your sentiments. But, you have to understand that EVERY team goes through that. The Indian team plays the MOST cricket out of every team, well at least they have been the last 2-3 years. If anybody should complain, it should be them. Travel, hotels, lack of loved ones nearby, different conditions are all part n parcel of modern cricket. These guys get paid A LOT of money than what you and I make in our careers. So they better give it their all. They OWE their nations and their fans. Coming back to cricket, let's speak about simple facts. SA are good but they lack the killer instinct of other good ODI sides. This is one of the many reasons why they have had poor ICC tournaments so often. After Amla, De Villiers and Kallis, they have nobody to score runs. Steyn and Morkel are not major bowling factors like they are in tests. That leaves a bunch of average players. This is the problem. Pakistan will be a very tough ODI team in the UAE. It's time to step up for SA.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | October 29, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    @Jaybass32: I agree that SA are the best non-Asian team when it comes to a balanced record in the subcontinent. However, they are still chokers when it comes to major ICC tournaments. They simply haven't convinced me or most SA fans that they have what it takes to win world cups, champions trophy, world T20 etc. Till they do that, they will continue to cop a lot of flak. It happens to all teams with a certain deficiency. As an Indian fan, I am used to seeing a lot of hate directed towards the BCCI and the Indian team simply cause of their super power status in world cricket PLUS the fact we have never won a test series in SA and AUS. Get used to it. Personally, I am happy for SA being no.1 in test cricket. They are a lot lovable compared to the England team.

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Consistency has been a problem for South African batsmen. You would definitely expect some consistent performances from JP Duminy and Faf Du Plessis. Apart from Hashim and De Villiers, other batsmen have performed at some occasions but haven't been consistent. With the batting order now almost fixed and everyone knowing their role properly, now is the time for performing best. This ODI series should definitely be an important series for preparing our squad for World Cup in 2015

  • POSTED BY Witty_Cricketer on | October 30, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    South Africa's main problem is their batting line up. Too much tinkering around under the name of flexibility is ridiculous. AB should come in at No.3 no matter what the situation is. His target should be to play at least 4 defining innings every 10 matches and he is perfectly capable of doing that,provided, he comes at No. 3.

  • POSTED BY AltafPatel on | October 30, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    They need to make senior player like Kallis play in ODIs instead of IPL and Champions League. Albie will make balance between new comers and experienced. Ingram hasnt displayed maturity with international cricket yet. This ODI team is still dependent on Amla who has carried in last 2-3 years single handedly.

  • POSTED BY Inducker on | October 30, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    The formula for introducing batsmen to international cricket is all wrong. They first seem to be exposed to T20 and one day internationals which favour batsmen taking chances and having ropey techniques. Batsmen as of old need to demonstrate solid techniques including defence which they can fall back on when they start out internationally and then to take it from there. One wonders whether the limited overs formula isn't also influencing the development of batsmen at junior level and is the prime reason for South Africa not being able to replace its current set of senior batsmen because the younger guys are simply not coming through.

  • POSTED BY Inducker on | October 30, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    SA selectors never learn. Ingram has already proved beyond reasonable doubt he is not an opener. His average is boosted by 2 centuries both at Bloemfontein and more often than not his top of the order failures put SA batting on the back foot. Batting stability begins with a sound opening partnership. They are now monkeying with batting order with Duminy in at no 3. Beginning to think that the present coach who has no international experience himself is out of his depth.

  • POSTED BY Romanticstud on | October 30, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    South Africa as a test outfit are peerless ... BUT ... although having the two top batsmen in the world in ODI's have failed to deliver ... On paper the side is most probably the best in the world ... On any day they can beat any side ... BUT ... South Africa have a tendency to get themselves out needlessly ... Trying to run quick singles that aren't there and trying to hit the cover off the ball every ball ... The one ODI I remember against New Zealand we had 5 run-outs ...

  • POSTED BY highveldhillbilly on | October 30, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    SA'a problem: Too many average players: McLaren, Robbie P, Faf, Ingram. Too unsettled: the batting order is all over the place, the bowling line up changes every game, no idea what we want. Too many inconsistent players: JP, Smith, Morris. Each on it's own can be over come but as a whole I feel them team looks like Swiss cheese. Thank goodness Berhardien is gone.

  • POSTED BY on | October 30, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    dont worry SA, pakistan will make sure your batsman will regain their batting forms! and winning streak..

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | October 29, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    @Smiling: I agree with your sentiments. But, you have to understand that EVERY team goes through that. The Indian team plays the MOST cricket out of every team, well at least they have been the last 2-3 years. If anybody should complain, it should be them. Travel, hotels, lack of loved ones nearby, different conditions are all part n parcel of modern cricket. These guys get paid A LOT of money than what you and I make in our careers. So they better give it their all. They OWE their nations and their fans. Coming back to cricket, let's speak about simple facts. SA are good but they lack the killer instinct of other good ODI sides. This is one of the many reasons why they have had poor ICC tournaments so often. After Amla, De Villiers and Kallis, they have nobody to score runs. Steyn and Morkel are not major bowling factors like they are in tests. That leaves a bunch of average players. This is the problem. Pakistan will be a very tough ODI team in the UAE. It's time to step up for SA.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | October 29, 2013, 22:58 GMT

    @Jaybass32: I agree that SA are the best non-Asian team when it comes to a balanced record in the subcontinent. However, they are still chokers when it comes to major ICC tournaments. They simply haven't convinced me or most SA fans that they have what it takes to win world cups, champions trophy, world T20 etc. Till they do that, they will continue to cop a lot of flak. It happens to all teams with a certain deficiency. As an Indian fan, I am used to seeing a lot of hate directed towards the BCCI and the Indian team simply cause of their super power status in world cricket PLUS the fact we have never won a test series in SA and AUS. Get used to it. Personally, I am happy for SA being no.1 in test cricket. They are a lot lovable compared to the England team.

  • POSTED BY neiljturner on | October 29, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    @Arun Bose and Bozo McBozo:

    As long as we're talking about rankings, it's worth pointing out that if you go by the latest ICC rankings, the South African team looks HOPELESSLY reliant on Amla and de Villiers in ODIs; the next-best batsman (Kallis) is 240 points behind that pair.

    Collectively, the 5 next-best South Africans on the ODI rankings (Kallis, Duminy, Smith, du Plessis and Miller) have a combined 2837 ranking points.

    If you're looking for a reason for South Africa's inconsistency, it's that. Amla and de Villiers can't fire every time, and when they fail, no one else is there to step up.

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    Ingram, Miller, Parnell better step up. We have groomed them for a long time now. Its their time to 'fly out of the nest'. Behaardien... I don't even know he was selected in the first place. Tells you a lot about CSA right there.

  • POSTED BY Jaybass32 on | October 29, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    @Bozo_Mcbozo ...a good name that describes your view points... just check the records, which non-Sub Continent team has the best record in the Sub-Continent last five years? SA 'my friend". Not to worry though, 2 years from now you will all bow down and pay homage to the Greatest SA team in history. That is saying a lot for a country that has produced some of the greatest players in history. I do not know why the rest of the world likes to downgrade SA? last five years no away series loss??? come on cricket lovers bow down already!!! its like with kalis, some people still think Ricky is better and more legendary, well how many wickets does he have? none!!! kalis should be ranked way higher than Ricky Ponting!!! no worries again though, the records will not be avoided when its all said and down. the world will respect SA sooner rather than later!!! MARK MY WORDS!!!

  • POSTED BY duncanmoo on | October 29, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    What, no mention of AB de Villiers's captaincy? superficial W:L ratio for AB 13:12 so that is close to 50:50 (or 50% wins), under smith 2010-2013 32:17 (65%). And we were all complaining about Smith!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 29, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    @Bozo Mcbozo- Yeah rankings, Well rankings means nothing unless you perform in all conditions and my friend SA doesn't do well on sub-continental wickets.. Amla won't be playing, Duminy is out of form..Only AB and Smith can click but chances are less cz they will be facing the greatest bowling attack of asia.. I am an Indian btw..

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    @ Arun Bose - does South Africa have a "mediocre batting line-up" ? You are definitely kidding. Smith (former World #1), Amla (current World #1), De Villiers (current World #2), Duminy (104 matches at average of 40)...need I say more?

  • POSTED BY Smiling on | October 29, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    I am gobsmacked how SA have been described as inconsistent! I wonder if YOU out there are at the TOP of your game in your job day after day, month after month. YOU spend months away from family, YOU spend weeks in hotel rooms, YOU go from different pitch to different wicket game to game & see how well you fare. SA have been awesome for months, for years. So they slip up every now & again, so what. You simply CAN'T be awesome ALL of the time & Pakistan have NO home games, spending MONTHS away from families & many of them have young babes. Having your family with you in a hotel room (have you dealt with that stress??) is NO way the same as being in your own country with your home supporters. Cricket is way more than just the game. These days the players are TIRED. They DON'T get enough time to rest & have to deal with judgements of far too many. Tours are not just a group of games. THINK of all the travelling, training & maybe you're close. Let them be as awesome as they are talented!

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    @humi - did u even read my second comment completely. I said the fact that a tournament like Champions trophy has been abandoned for bilateral series like these is ridiculous. What would u rather watch a 7 match ODI series between 2 teams or a multi team tournament (champions trophy, triseries, quadrangular series). Pick one.

  • POSTED BY Nick636 on | October 29, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Ingram...?

    AGAIN?!?!?!

    WHYYYY!!?!?!?!?!

  • POSTED BY pakfanfromnepal on | October 29, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    As reported here i also think South Africa are in a state of some stress because besides players like, ABD, Amla and Smith, other are not performing well. If pakistan play to this full strength than it would be very hard for SA to won the ODI series. My team for PAK would be: N Jamsade, A Shahzad, U Akaml (WK), M Ul Huk, S Maqsood, A Shafiq, M Hafeez, S afridi, S Ajmal, J Khan, M Irfan. Hafreez to Play at No.7 as All rounder would be best option for pakistan becasue of good ODI bowling record as he can bowl early and late of the innings. Dont play him as opener, otherwise playS Tanveer as he can also bat a bit.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 29, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    This series is worthless.. Both are bowling teams with mediocre batting line-ups.. People love to see batting more than bowling in an ODI match.. Total waste of time and eyes..

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | October 29, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Sharjeel Khan again proves his talent by scoring 194 of 124 balls, best opener in pakistan right now, plays like Sehwag

  • POSTED BY humi_cric on | October 29, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    @Naman Gupta, meaningless series (may be for you) but both teams are testing their squad against good bowling attack, for the WC 2015, although I don't know you personally but I am sure you will watch all the 5 ODI and T20s. I think you are bit stressed (some unknown reason), just sounds a frustrated comment. Take a chill pill bro.

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    @mobin99 - I am no ODI hater. But series like these have no context. I would much rather prefer seeing a triseries or a quadrangular series, like the one in Australia. It gives u an opportunity to see how two teams fare each other in a neutral venue. But series like these do nothing apart from changing ranking points. As ian chapell once mentioned, it probably would be better if results like these influence the world cup format. So something like top 4 teams then competing each other in a world tournament or something along those lines. This at least gives it some context. I seriously can't believe they are removing ICC champions trophy to make way for bilateral series like these.

  • POSTED BY Mobin99 on | October 29, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    @Naman Gupta, You just came here to tell us it is meaningless series! Infact u cares, that's why u commented :)

  • POSTED BY ICCexpert.... on | October 29, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Sharjeel Khan again proves his talent by scoring 194 of 124 balls, best opener in pakistan right now, plays like Sehwag, why doesnt he take the selectors to the court for not selecting, they deserve to perish in jail.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 29, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    @2nd Slip- Where were you when India won the Champions trophy in England earlier this year and right after that won the tri-series in west indies beating west indies and srilanka comprehensively? Facts are more stronger than mere comments.. SA chokes, the world knows and that's a fact too..

  • POSTED BY VVSR92 on | October 29, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Kirsten always helps by bringing a positive element into teams he coaches.

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | October 29, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Pakistan is Favourite in ODIs and T20s....But in Test SA are way above Pakistan. This ODI team is not even a shadow of old SA Odi teams....

  • POSTED BY ReverseSweepIndia on | October 29, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    There is something special, very magical and inspiring in this name 'Gary Kirsten'. He won us the WC, make us reach #1 in tests, lost many matches from lost situation, never lost a match from winning situation (yes we lost few, but collective failures, I am talking losing from winning position like what happened in 3rd ODI against Aus) Consistent Chokers SA reached #1 in tests, deservedly too, they had been good enough for too long, jut were unable to break the hoodoo. What could be the reason? I bet he reads the game better than anybody else. So you give a same set of 15 players to 10 different coaches, Gary will find the best XI for the day correct more often than others. SA, now on top of test ranking will remain there for some time, they have the quality for belief, but in ODI's they are going to find it pretty tough and its where C tag comes more often to them

  • POSTED BY har007 on | October 29, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    My team for first two ODIs :- Smith,Ingram,AB,JP,Faf,Miller,Mclaren,Robin/Parnell,Tahir, Morkel,Lopsy (8 batters and 6 bowlers with JP)

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | October 29, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    PAK can win ODI series easily. if they setup ODI as; 1)Nasir J. 2)Ahmed Shahzad 3)Hafeez 4)Shoiab Maqsood 5)Umar Akmal(WKT) 7)Umar Amin 6)AFRIDI 8)Z, Baber 9)Junaid K. 10)Irfan

    Please don't include Mr. tuktuk, Sohail Tanvir, Adnan Akmal, Asad Safiq etc.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | October 29, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    No matter how good SA team is, They will choke at the most unfortunate times as they have in the past.. They cannot handle pressure situations.. It happened in 1992, It happened in semi-final of wc 1999, It again happened in wc 2011 quaterfinal against NZ.. They choke and choke badly.. You can have tons of talent but you have to have the skill of keeping ur mind at peace when pressure situation arrives but alas it doesn't happened with SA.. They have the talent but not the skill required to win in hard times.. Sorry, But SA may never win any major title of ICC again cz of this inability..

  • POSTED BY on | October 29, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    well its a meaningless bilateral series. Who cares.

  • POSTED BY njr1330 on | October 28, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    Gary Kirsten to 'rejuvenate' the batting! Oh my god...would that be the Gary. Kirsten who I once saw make 250 without playing a shot!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | October 28, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    Too much hve been said about Pakistan future batting but I think it's a dilemma in almost every major team that their aren't any young batting stars. Old hands have been carrying Pakistan batting but what happen to SA batting, only players who performed in this series was Amla, AB and Smith. Nobdy else was able to stand beside a 50 frm Duminy. I think SA as well as Pakistan and Australia are lacking future batting stars. There is some hope here n there but no consistency and no superstar batsman in future. These teams should invest time and money to bring up future batsmen. All these teams are doing just enough to get by. India had couple of players who will carry the team in batting, so does England but besides these two teams ery other team is lacking a true batsmen. Everyone have big hitters and entertainers.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | October 28, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    SA should be handful for Pak even in their backyard. They do have a dynamic ODI batting line up. They just need a little bit of self belief. Pak on the other hand might struggle with their batting while bowling wise they are as good. if not better than SA. Should be a competitive series.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | October 28, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    @DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement just like India knows how to lose away from Home right?

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @MrGarreth @Muneeb_Dawood: I've noticed dale steyn's picture is very popular among cricinfo writers, they use his picture at slightest opportunity. The picture in this article is very inappropriate though.

  • POSTED BY AB_DeVilliers on | October 28, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    @MrGarreth, nice spot, and that too in a test match!

  • POSTED BY MrGarreth on | October 28, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Good article but I find it a bit odd that you use a picture of Dale Steyn getting bowled to illustrate the failings of our batsmen in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    where is Kallis? If he wants to play in 2015 WC then he must be here

  • POSTED BY AB_DeVilliers on | October 28, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    I feel this team is coming on nicely, despite the recent results. SA are working towards their best 11. If all players were fit and available for selection, my team in these conditions would be: Amla, Smith, Kallis, AB, JP, Miller, Mclaren, Tahir, Lopsy, Steyn, Morkel (7 batters, 7 bowlers).

  • POSTED BY DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on | October 28, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    chokers, team knows how to choke at right time.

  • POSTED BY DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on | October 28, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    chokers, team knows how to choke at right time.

  • POSTED BY AB_DeVilliers on | October 28, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    I feel this team is coming on nicely, despite the recent results. SA are working towards their best 11. If all players were fit and available for selection, my team in these conditions would be: Amla, Smith, Kallis, AB, JP, Miller, Mclaren, Tahir, Lopsy, Steyn, Morkel (7 batters, 7 bowlers).

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    where is Kallis? If he wants to play in 2015 WC then he must be here

  • POSTED BY MrGarreth on | October 28, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Good article but I find it a bit odd that you use a picture of Dale Steyn getting bowled to illustrate the failings of our batsmen in ODIs.

  • POSTED BY AB_DeVilliers on | October 28, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    @MrGarreth, nice spot, and that too in a test match!

  • POSTED BY on | October 28, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @MrGarreth @Muneeb_Dawood: I've noticed dale steyn's picture is very popular among cricinfo writers, they use his picture at slightest opportunity. The picture in this article is very inappropriate though.

  • POSTED BY 2nd_Slip on | October 28, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    @DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement just like India knows how to lose away from Home right?

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | October 28, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    SA should be handful for Pak even in their backyard. They do have a dynamic ODI batting line up. They just need a little bit of self belief. Pak on the other hand might struggle with their batting while bowling wise they are as good. if not better than SA. Should be a competitive series.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | October 28, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    Too much hve been said about Pakistan future batting but I think it's a dilemma in almost every major team that their aren't any young batting stars. Old hands have been carrying Pakistan batting but what happen to SA batting, only players who performed in this series was Amla, AB and Smith. Nobdy else was able to stand beside a 50 frm Duminy. I think SA as well as Pakistan and Australia are lacking future batting stars. There is some hope here n there but no consistency and no superstar batsman in future. These teams should invest time and money to bring up future batsmen. All these teams are doing just enough to get by. India had couple of players who will carry the team in batting, so does England but besides these two teams ery other team is lacking a true batsmen. Everyone have big hitters and entertainers.

  • POSTED BY njr1330 on | October 28, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    Gary Kirsten to 'rejuvenate' the batting! Oh my god...would that be the Gary. Kirsten who I once saw make 250 without playing a shot!