Proteas coach Mark Boucher says Janneman Malan is going to give them selection headaches

17 July 2021 - 10:46 By mahlatse mphahlele
Janneman Malan in action during the third ODI match against Ireland at The Village in Dublin.
Janneman Malan in action during the third ODI match against Ireland at The Village in Dublin.
Image: Seb Daly/Gallo Images

On-form Proteas top order batsman Janneman Malan has played himself into contention for this year’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in October and November.

Malan is the leading run scorer in the three-match series between SA and Ireland with 261 runs in two innings with an average of 261.0, which includes a top score of 177.

As a result of his match-winning knock on Friday, Malan became the scorer of the fourth-highest score by a SA batsman in ODIs after Gary Kirsten (188*), Faf du Plessis (185) and Quinton de Kock (178).

“He has been waiting on the sidelines for quite a while and yes, he is getting opportunities and he has certainly taken it,” said Boucher about the destructive Malan.

“He did get a few opportunities during these Covid-19 times when we were playing teams without our main players available. So, he did get some opportunities there to taste a bit of international cricket and he did well. I said a while ago that our depth is getting big now.

“The first game we rested Quinny (Quinton de Kock), in the second game we rested Quinny again and he got 80 odd and in the third match he got an opportunity to bat with Quinny which I think he learnt a lot from batting with him.”

Boucher said Malan’s impressive performances are going to give the selectors a headache as he is competing with the likes of Temba Bavuma, De Kock and Aiden Markram in the top order.

“He has certainly put up his hand and he is giving selectors a good headache which is a good thing for cricket in our country. It is tough because they are all quality cricketers and in the ideal world you want all of them playing. We thought about trying to upskill guys in being able to bat out of their normal positions.

“A guy like Aiden has done it where he batted at number three in franchise cricket. It is a good headache to have and they are putting pressure on each other and there is good competition upfront there. If they perform it is going to be difficult to leave them out but there is always going to be that one guy who unfortunately is going to miss out.”