Five Proteas to watch in Mzansi Super League this week
The Proteas may have won the ODI series against Australia, but the batting remains problematic.
Captain Faf du Plessis and David Miller scored big hundreds in the last ODI in Hobart to set up the victory, but the top-order failed once more.
Hashim Amla also missed the trip Down Under due to injury, so they all have a lot to prove during the Mzansi Super League over the next few weeks.
The next ODI is on January 19 against Pakistan in Port Elizabeth.
So, here are five Proteas batsmen who need to find form in the MSL T20…
Quinton de Kock (Cape Town Blitz)
The attacking left-hander scored just 60 runs in his three innings against Australia. There is no doubting De Kock’s quality, but if he continues misfiring, someone new might just steal the limelight in the Mzansi Super League.
He is the marquee Proteas player for the Blitz, taking over from the injured JP Duminy, so that extra responsibility will hopefully help him in getting stuck in and playing with the flair we know he possesses in abundance.
Hashim Amla (Durban Heat)
For so long the rock of the Proteas batting line-up, Amla has had time out of the game due to a broken finger, and before that, he has battled to reach the heights that saw him become one of the best in the world.
Will the time on the sidelines reinvigorate the 35-year-old Amla for one last big push to the 2019 World Cup, which is from May to July?
Heinrich Klaasen (Durban Heat)
The wicket-keeper batsman didn’t get much of a chance to bat in Australia, so perhaps a move up the order for the Durban Heat may not be a bad call for Klaasen. With the Proteas No 3 position not yet settled, Klaasen could stake a serious claim for that spot by impressing in the Mzansi Super League.
Reeza Hendricks (Jozi Stars)
The right-handed opener scored just 68 runs against Australia. None other than AB de Villiers has backed Hendricks to become the permanent Proteas No 3, but the classy shot-maker needs to back it up with big runs.
The Wanderers pitch will suit his attacking nature.
Aiden Markram (Paarl Rocks)
Another one who didn’t grab his chance in Australia, with a best score of 32. Playing alongside Proteas captain Faf du Plessis in Paarl should help Markram, who needs a big tournament to stay ahead of Reeza Hendricks and others in the ODI set-up.
This Week’s Fixtures
Tuesday: Paarl Rocks v Jozi Stars (7pm)
Wednesday: Durban Heat v Tshwane Spartans (2pm), Cape Town Blitz v Nelson Mandela Bay Giants (7pm)
Friday: Nelson Mandela Bay Giants v Durban Heat (7pm)
Saturday: Jozi Stars v Cape Town Blitz (7pm)
Sunday: Tshwane Spartans v Nelson Mandela Bay Giants (11.30am), Paarl Rocks v Cape Town Blitz (3.30pm)@ashfakmohamed