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Proteas set to unleash thrilling but mercurial attack in quest for English whitewash


Sisanda Magala. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Sisanda Magala. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

In Kimberley

  • The Proteas look set to employ a mercurial but exciting attack for the final ODI against England. 
  • Marco Jansen, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi were the only members of the attack to send down a couple of deliveries during Tuesday’s shortened training session.
  • Stalwart David Miller is confident South Africa will have the firepower to force a series whitewash, regardless of who’s in the final XI.

Brace yourself, Northern Cape cricket fans, the Proteas might reserve one of their most exciting but mercurial bowling attacks for Wednesday’s final ODI against England here at the Oval.

Rotation has been the name of the game for South Africa in this series, clinched already two days ago in Bloemfontein, and there’s little indication the practice will change now.

In fact, a four-pronged group of Marco Jansen, Sisanda Magala, Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj were the only members of the squad to inspect what seemed a standard dry surface as well as send down a few deliveries on the adjacent practice strip.

That would suggest a bowling arsenal brimming with game-breaking ability is indeed in the offing though, with the exception of Magala in the first ODI, none of the other three has boasted particularly impressive figures.

But the prospect of all of them getting it right is an enticing one.

READ | Bavuma says resting Magala, Rabada for 2nd England ODI was part of series plan

As an insurance policy, Wayne Parnell – who is recovering from a blow to his foot – and Lungi Ngidi could be deployed too.

Anrich Nortje is unlikely to play as he’s already featured in both previous matches, while Kagiso Rabada’s duty for MI Cape Town when the SA20 resumes on Thursday evening could see him rather prepare for that.

Regardless, Proteas stalwart David Miller is excited about the prospect of a tinkered team gunning for a 3-0 series whitewash.

“For sure, we don’t ever want to be a team that sits behind the veil of seeing just how guys perform. We’re ultimately here to win,” said the steely finisher, who masterminded South Africa’s record 343-run chase at the death in Bloemfontein last Sunday.

“We want to win the series 3-0. It’s still important for us to put the right people on the park.”

The irony of that last statement is that the “right people” merely means most appropriate … and that doesn’t automatically mean it has to be Rabada and co.

“In saying that, our squad is incredibly strong,” said Miller.

“We’re always producing great cricketers in South Africa and whoever plays, I have no doubt we’re going to have a full-strength team. Being nice and clinical would be the cherry on top, with the intention of winning 3-0.”

Team management confirmed that Quinton de Kock, who’s carrying a sore but not fractured thumb after being hit there during wicketkeeping duties in Bloemfontein, is still “under medical observation”.

As a result, the Proteas are likely to be in the market for a new opening partner for skipper Temba Bavuma.

Janneman Malan and Reeza Hendricks, the squad’s two reserve batters, were the only men that batted in the nets during a shortened training session.

The first ball will be bowled at 13:00.

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