South Africa v India, one-off Twenty20, Johannesburg March 29, 2012

One-off T20 chance for fringe players - Botha

ESPNcricinfo staff

Johan Botha has said South Africa's one-off Twenty20 international against India on Friday will be an opportunity for fringe players to impress ahead of the World Twenty20. Botha, who will lead South Africa in the match, said resting some of the senior players from the squad would give South Africa an opportunity to test some young players against quality opposition.

"There are some world-class pros sitting out but we have some young guys who have done well in the MiWAY T20 Challenge and it will be a good introduction to international cricket for them, to be playing against a top team," Botha said.

South Africa have included the uncapped Dane Vilas and Farhaan Behardien in their 13-man squad, both of who finished in the top ten on the run-charts in the MiWAY T20. They have also picked Morne van Wyk, who has not played for South Africa since the 2011 one-day World Cup.

"You don't want to put pressure on the young guys saying this is your only chance," Botha said, "but the senior players will come back into the team after they've rested and there's only a few games left before the World T20. So this is an opportunity for the fringe players to seal a spot in the World T20 squad."

Gary Kirsten, the South Africa coach, had joked that it might be hard for him to stay awake through the game because he would have had very little rest after a long flight from New Zealand. Botha, however, said the players would take the game seriously and would try to do well for Jacques Kallis, to whom the game is being dedicated.

"With the World Twenty20 coming up in October, every T20 game is important and you can learn in every game. Hopefully, we can make it 1-1 after losing to India in the one-off Twenty20 we played when they toured last year. We want to do well for Jacques, who is a legend in South African cricket."

The players did not train together before the game but Botha said they were prepared enough. "Most of us have played in the T20 challenge, so we'll come in ready, with a few days of rest [the previous game in the MiWAY T20 was on March 25], and just play. Often players over-train and overthink, so this could work. Gary always leaves it up to the players. It's our responsibility. If guys want to go work on something tomorrow there's still time before the game."

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fahad on March 30, 2012, 16:13 GMT

    Well, I'm watching the match. I'd love to see South Africa win, but I'd love more to see India lose.

  • Dummy4 on March 30, 2012, 12:30 GMT

    all will watch i agree t20 is a worthless one off t20 will be watched by everyone.....nd yes t20 wc is only cup .that people like

  • Maheshnarayan on March 30, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    I'm hoping this T20 is a ruse to kidnap Gary Kirsten and bring him back as coach !

  • venkat on March 30, 2012, 10:30 GMT

    @johnathonjosephs you dont watch your own SL team losing

  • Dummy4 on March 30, 2012, 9:56 GMT

    Farhan can be a good player

  • Rajakumar on March 30, 2012, 9:30 GMT

    @coolitbaby - I really wonder how you called our Team (India) as a top team. I agree some thing that Srilanka didnt win in many places - but they didnt loose as India did. They did far better than India.

  • Cool on March 30, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    @JustIPL : Actually I think it is good that it is only India and SA playing, and no Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka have been beaten black and blue and held out to dry by every dick and harry in world cricket. They can't win in India, can't win in Aus, can't win in Bangladesh, and heck they even almost lost to England in their own backyard. Let the top teams India and SA battle it out I say !!

  • Fahad on March 30, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    South Africa is way too strong for India nowadays.

  • sam on March 30, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    As a supporter of Indian cricket and cricket in general I am disgusted with BCCI's policies. This is such a shameless way to make money that it is beyond appalling. The anti-UDRS policy is at least a meaningful stance (though I do not agree with that). This is one is such a shameless money laundering policy that it makes me angry and sad. The BCCI doesnot deserve independence from government intervention after such atrocity. It cares neither for players nor for supporters. Only interested in making money.

  • Tahir on March 29, 2012, 20:45 GMT

    It is really important for India to win this match. As Indian fans expect that they atleast be good in this shortest format after being whitewashed in tests and failing to win the asia cup despite winning world cup on home soil. Losing in asia cup makes sense as they are not the top side in ICC ODI rankings despite being world cup holders. I am afraid that whitewash syndrome may hit during home series against visiting sides until gambhir's concept of rank turners comes out to help India but other teams may also bring good spinners as thier spinners can get good exposure through IPL.

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