Former Proteas coach Simons: Pretorius could be key for SA in India
Former Proteas coach Eric Simons has pointed out that all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius may play a huge role for SA during the five-match T20 series starting in Delhi on Thursday.
Simons, who has intimate knowledge of Indian conditions as bowling consultant for the Chennai Super Kings in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), said Pretorius could be a huge asset with his slower balls.
“Someone like Dwaine Pretorious has got a very good slower ball, he has the ability to take the pace off the ball,” the former SA national coach said.
“I think Kagiso Rabada’s slower ball has improved a lot, Lungi Ngidi has a very good slower ball. The pace off the ball is going to be important but the spinners will probably stand out.”
SA have selected Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi as front-line spinners and Simons believes they will have an important role in slower Indian conditions.
“The obvious situation is that we have two good spinners in Maharaj and Shamsi but India play spin very well, and they have very good spinners, and our ability to play spin is not as good as theirs.
“When you are playing against a team that has got two or maybe three spinners, you can’t afford to just knock their premier spinner around. You have to attack them and be aggressive otherwise you will not be getting any runs.
“It is not just about survival against their spinners — it is also the ability to score runs against their quality spinners that is going to be a challenge.”
The India tour is the start of the build-up for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November. Simons says the SA coaches need to back their players in this crucial period.
“One of the lessons we need to learn from the IPL, and this is one of the biggest differences for David Miller, is that this was for the first time where the team stuck with him.
“He had one, two or three OK games at the beginning of the tournament but they stuck with him. In the T20 game you need to pick your best 11 or 12 and stick with them so that they can learn how to play together.
“I think consistency in selection is crucial part of success for a T20 team.”
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.