Bowlers’ task will be made easier if they take wickets with new ball, says Charl Langeveldt
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JOHANNESBURG – Let’s start at the very beginning. That’s how Proteas bowling coach Charl Langeveldt wants to attack Ireland in the series-deciding third and final ODI on Friday.
Langeveldt’s charges have come under severe criticism for their failure to close out innings, particularly after conceding 95 runs in the last 10 overs earlier in the week that set Ireland up for a historic victory over the Proteas. But for all the bowling unit’s shortcomings at the backend, Langeveldt believes their task will be made much easier if they start on the front foot by taking wickets with the new ball in the opening powerplay.
To be fair to the Proteas’ pacemen they have been let down in the field though. Their cause has certainly not been helped by some indifferent catching. After a stellar performance behind the wicket in particularly the Test series in the West Indies, the visitors have dropped their catching standards once again.
The drop catches within the first 10 overs have a spiralling effect as it has allowed Ireland’s opening pair to settle in and absorb the early new-ball pressure. Furthermore, it shields the middle-order from being exposed to the swinging and seaming conditions.
“We have definitely spoken long and hard about taking wickets upfront. Then if your spinners take wickets as well, then you can apply pressure. It makes it a lot easier to bowl to the new batsman coming in,” Langeveldt said.
“We saw how they bowled to our batsmen. It’s not easy to just come in and play when the ball is softer. It does make it hard. It is something we have spoken long and hard about in terms of getting wickets upfront. Maybe squeeze a bit more in the middle period too.”
Captain Temba Bavuma has hinted strongly this week in the aftermath of the “Dublin Drubbing” that a change of personnel within the bowling unit may be due.
South Africa’s first-choice seam attack across all three formats primarily consists of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi with the addition of an all-rounder. During this series Nortje and Ngidi have been rotated in the first two matches, and it is expected that Ngidi will come back for the series decider.
However, such is the state of affairs, that South Africa could look at their broader squad to inject some fresh impetus, and Langeveldt believes the time could be ripe to unleash the uncapped Lizaad Williams.
“If you look around the world, a lot of teams are using plenty of other players. It is something that we as management could do better in terms of giving the fringe players opportunities. I think sometimes you can see that it is hard to bowl Test lengths for a long time and then go straight into a T20 series and then you need to change back to ODI cricket,” Langeveldt said.
“But in saying that, we are all professionals and we need to adapt. I think it is something we as a management team can improve in terms of using the other players as well. Lizaad has been doing well. He brings a lot of energy. He has a different skill-set. He is a skiddy bowler. Fresh bowler, fresh mind.”
The Proteas certainly can’t afford another slip up on Friday in Malahide. Not only will they lose a first-ever series to Ireland, but they will drop even more valuable points en-route to automatic qualification for the ICC World Cup in 2023.
POSSIBLE PROTEAS TEAM FOR 3RD ODI V IRELAND
Quinton de Kock (wk), Janneman Malan, Temba Bavuma (captain), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Lizaad Williams, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi.