Kirsten planning for the World Cup

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Proteas coach Gary Kirsten has his eye on another prize.

Johannesburg – Gary Kirsten explained that the bitter disappointment following the One-Day series loss to New Zealand should be viewed in the context of a wider vision for the national team with the 2015 World Cup a major focal point.

South Africa suffered their first home series defeat to New Zealand in any format on Tuesday night in Kimberley, but Kirsten stressed the importance of looking at the wider picture.

“(Losing’s) not nice, we haven’t played very well. We’ve acknowledged that and as a group tried to front up to that. Sometimes to fulfil a longer term vision you’ve got to take a few steps back to start.

“In terms of a longer vision it gives us clarity about where we are going as a team and what our combinations are going to look like. It’s now our responsibility to take the learning out of it and go forward,” Kirsten said on Thursday.

He added that it was important for his coaching staff and the selectors to use certain series to look at new talent in order to broaden the number of options available to them.

“There is going to be a risk attached to that because no one likes losing. We need to balance it out. I can say we’ve got some depth, we’ve given guys game time and we’ve given them international exposure so when we do get an injury we can put this particular guy in.”

The longer term vision for the ODI side is the World Cup, Kirsten explained, but it was also important to find out how the side function in Jacques Kallis’ absence.

Rotation, Kirsten remarked, was not a squad-wide policy but limited to the fast bowlers.

“We haven’t actually tried to rotate too much, it’s really around using Dale (Steyn) and Morné (Morkel) in a rotating fashion.”

The loss of AB de Villiers (suspended) and injuries to Hashim Amla and JP Duminy forced the selectors to look at other batting options, and despite the defeats to the New Zealand, Kirsten was happy with some individual performances.

“Colin Ingram played outstandingly the other night. Potentially we may not have gotten to see that if we’d had our full compliment of batsmen.

“This (is a period) that allows for great opinion. People can get irritated because we are trying something when we should be winning games.

“I think this is a very important phase for us,” he stated.

“I’m mindful of the fact that if we don’t crack it and don’t get it right then I will have to take full responsibility for that.” – The Star


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