South Africa news

Ontong to lead Invitation XI against Pakistan

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 16, 2013

Comments: 15 | Text size: A | A

Justin Ontong top scored for South Africa with 41, Bangladesh v South Africa, T20 tri-series, Harare, June 22, 2012
Justin Ontong has played two Tests for South Africa © AFP
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Players/Officials: Ayabulela Gqamane | Justin Ontong
Series/Tournaments: Pakistan tour of South Africa
Teams: South Africa

Justin Ontong has been named captain of the South African Invitation XI for the tour match against Pakistan at Buffalo Park, East London from January 25 to 28. The selectors did not pick any players from the Titans and Lions franchises because those teams will be playing a first-class match at that time.

"It is nevertheless a very strong team drawn from the other four franchises and includes five players who have represented the Proteas across the various formats," the team's coach Vinnie Barnes said. "We have achieved a balance between established franchise players who have been doing well in the Sunfoil Series as well as giving an opportunity to younger players who have shown promise."

The squad includes Ayabulela Gqamane, the Warriors bowler who has taken 96 wickets in 25 first-class matches. Wayne Parnell, who has a wrist injury, was expected to be fit in time for the game.

SA Invitation XI: Justin Ontong (capt), Kyle Abbott, Cody Chetty, Ayabulela Gqamane, Simon Harmer, Beuran Hendricks, Davy Jacobs, Wayne Parnell, Andrew Puttick, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Vilas.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2013, 19:25 GMT)

Pakistan fast bowling department looks short on experience, but it will prove handy but the biggest worry is batting. Traditionally Pakistani batsmen have always struggled in SA conditions. They are suspect against seam, movement and quality fast bowling, which will be abundant in SA. The record proves everybody including Miandad, Inzimam, Muhammad Yousaf, Yonis Khan etc have struggled. Apart from Azhar Mahmood and Taufiq Umar or a few centuries here and there, nothing special. I wonder how Nasir Jamshaid, Muhammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali etc will cope with the pressure. Mr. Whatmore should make them work very hard on their techniques on fast and bouncy pitches. If our batting clickes, it wil be a good series otherwise simple disaster.

Posted by   on (January 17, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

@ soso_killer! Well tbh sa are head and shoulders above every team right now, so i will be happy if pak competes well. A 1-1 draw will be great for pak but i will be happy with even a well contested 2-1 defeat for pak. But as a die hard pak fan, i hope that pak wins this series (unlikely) but u never know with pak ;). But if pak manages to draw this series, it will be reminiscent of the 1-1 draw in the caribbean with that all time greatest team of windies. Sa aren't that great for sure, but they are a great side atm.

Posted by Soso_killer on (January 17, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

Ok then tell what are your expectations in the up coming series, i.e. What would you consider to be a successful tour for Pakistan?

A 1-1 draw?, a 2-1 win for Pak, or the pipe dream 3-0 to Pakistan?

What about a 2-1 win for SA? Or 2-0 (with Pakistan competing in sessions but beaten in the long run)

Posted by   on (January 17, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

@ soso_killer! Well u know, i m not the one, who started it.

Posted by Soso_killer on (January 17, 2013, 15:08 GMT)

I have to say i am bewildered by Salman Zaffer taunts.

What do you want? A trolling contest?

Posted by Dirk_L on (January 17, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

Well of course this side is not supposed to challenge Pakistan, nor will the pitch be anything like the one on which the real games will be played. That's how they all do it nowadays right around the world. A far cry from the old-style tours where the tourists would play all the first-class teams, all highly motivated to beat them. This is more like the country-house games at the Oppenheimer estate we used to have as the starter.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 17, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

Great team - nice balance of experience and youth. Look forward to watching Gqamane and Abbott. The cupboard is full to the brim.

Posted by Dale_Pain on (January 17, 2013, 1:12 GMT)

Gqamane - we need this all-rounder fast tracked - a nice action and great wicket taker in the making!

Posted by quittthewhinging on (January 16, 2013, 23:10 GMT)

@ kurtkz. Van Jaarsveld was pushed at a very early age and didn't live up to expectations. I hope the same doesn't happen to de Kock. (He is already showing signs of immaturity.) I have seen van Jaarsveld play some good innings this season and he is still only 27. I have never really rated Parnell but I sure as hell would rather have him in my team than Ontong.

@ Vandrg. This side has no chance of beating Pakistan. It has to be borne in mind though that Lions and Cobras players were not considered. Also that these types of matches are considered as "testing grounds" and the team isn't really expected to win.

Posted by BowledYa on (January 16, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

@ Vandrg...the last time we had a bilateral series SA won zero matches despite Pakistan team reeling from the loss of top 3 players from the Englad fiasco. I expect this tour will be VERY competitive. Pakistan plays best when faced with the toughest opposition. Looking forward to some great cricket!

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