All rounders galore is the theme SA selectors seem to have gone for in the Champions Trophy - Times LIVE
   
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Fri Apr 28 10:24:38 SAST 2017

All rounders galore is the theme SA selectors seem to have gone for in the Champions Trophy

Khanyiso Tshwaku | 2017-04-20 15:41:08.0
Andile Phehlukwayo celebrates the victory over Australia during the 3rd Momentum ODI Series match between South Africa and Australia at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on October 05, 2016 in Durban, South Africa.
Image by: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

South Africa's recent drought may have affected a lot of things‚ but not the recent production of all-rounders.

Such was the importance of players like Andile Phehlukwayo‚ Chris Morris‚ Dwaine Pretorius and Wayne Parnell‚ Proteas coach Russell Domingo and selection convenor Linda Zondi saw fit to pick all of them for June's ICC Champions Trophy.

It would be easy to wonder why the surfeit of ambidextrous cricketers was preferred over specialist traders.

The trick lies in their adaptability and their usefulness in different conditions.

A minimum of three matches in the group stages where India‚ Pakistan and Sri Lanka lie in wait is too short a time to play them all.

There are the warm-up matches and the three ODI's against England for them to prove their eventual worth but the fact they were all given a run in the New Zealand ODI series speaks volumes in terms of what Domingo wants from them.

From a death bowling perspective‚ Phehlukwayo has proved he is the real deal at domestic and international level.

His imperfect but nerveless batting has won matches for the national team and his age allows him to make mistakes before roughing out his edges.

Pretorius is probably the best batsmen of the lot and the steadier bowler to keep things tight in the middle overs.

Highveld Lions coach Geoff Toyana has used him effectively as a middle order pulveriser but at first-class level‚ he has shown the ability to build an innings.

This is a crucial quality in early season English wickets where the toss can influence the outcome of a match.

Wayne Parnell's left-arm swing could be a crucial component in a country he has excelled in a past tournament.

While he hasn't found his reverse swing groove - high quality left-arm pacemen don't come easily for South Africa - he seems to have got over his inconsistency to become an important gun in South Africa's bowling armoury.

Chris Morris picks himself as a bowler first but his lusty hitting has pulled the Proteas from the mire on more than one occasion.

His bowling‚ especially in batting friendly conditions in the Indian Premier League‚ could be a harbinger of good things to come for the Proteas.

Domingo explained his decision‚ which was also backed up by Morne Morkel's selection as the other out and out strike bowler.

“At stages we've played two of them‚" Domingo said.

"At times we've played three of them where they batted in the lower order and I can think of the Christchurch ODI against New Zealand where they all batted from number seven to ten.

"It will depend on the conditions and the opposition we play against.

“When we're up against teams whom we perceive to have batting as their strength‚ we'll play the seam bowling options and that could bring Morne Morkel back into the equation.

"The same could apply when there are good bowling teams in tricky conditions.

"A lengthened batting line-up could be a necessity.”

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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