South Africa coach, Gary Kirsten is excited by the competition for places in the team, saying this will serve his long-term strategy.
“We’re in the industry of winning games of cricket, so I’m mindful of that,” said Kirsten on Thursday.
“But it’s important for us to continue building and achieve consistent success and to do that we need a greater squad of players. We’ve got to offer, as a cricket nation, more than just 11 players.”
Experimentation and the ability to adapt to situations has been one of the main highlights that Kirsten has brought to the Proteas’ limited overs strategy, which has seen three different batsmen successfully occupying the No 4 spot in the line-up.
Kirsten views positions four to seven in the batting order as the critical batting positions in ODI cricket, especially when it comes to finishing off the match during high pressure moments.
“I want to be comfortable with who our best closers are in the team, we are going to mix it up,” said Kirsten.
“We are going to rotate it a bit and the left-hander/right-hander combination also plays a very important role in certain aspects. It is important to get the players comfortable with it (rotation) and they are warming to it very quickly.
“JP Duminy did it brilliantly for us in East London, Faf du Plessis did it brilliantly in Bloemfontein, and I’m getting excited by seeing those guys wanting to embrace those moments (pressure situations).
“Those are the little key battles in games that we want to win, and if you win those battles you end up more times than not winning the game.”
Dale Steyn has become the latest player to be rested in the series, and will make way for Wayne Parnell in the final two ODI’s.
Parnell played his last match for the Proteas at the ICC Cricket World Cup in March last year, and has looked in strong shape in the nets.
“We were always planning to experiment throughout the series and it’s important that we develop and grow players so that we have a squad of 16 or 17 players we can pick from at any time,” he said.
“It allows us to rotate better, and rest players, because we know that the guys coming in have got the experience and they are equally as good.”