Fringe Proteas players will have another opportunity to knock harder on the national team’s door when SA A host their India and Afghanistan counterparts in a one-day triangular series.
The tournament starts in Pretoria on Wednesday with SA A‚ to be captained by Khaya Zondo‚ taking on India A at the Groenkloof Oval in what is expected to be an evenly contested match. Although the tournament is expected to fly under the radar‚ SA A coach Shukri Conrad has urged his players to grab the opportunity as the national selectors will observe proceedings.
"There is no motivation needed for the players at this level because this is a chance for them to be noticed by the Proteas selectors‚" Conrad said.
"They are playing for their country and they must also be motivated to do better than our recent tour to England and get things right.
"These ‘A’ tours can be a very difficult space to operate in because guys often have one eye on playing for the senior national team. But they must focus on the job at hand.
"The big thing for me is to play some front-foot cricket‚ play an attacking brand of cricket and not to take a backward step. I think we backed off a little against the English in England because they play aggressively.
"We have to be smart enough to assess the conditions early but fortunately we know them well and there will be no excuse when we get it wrong," he said.
"Some of the lessons from the England tour are that batters need to set up big totals and bowlers need to be ruthless in their execution of their skills‚ especially when we are under pressure," Conrad said.
The South African team boasts experienced players such as Farhaan Behardien‚ Aaron Phangiso‚ Tabraiz Shamsi‚ Reeza Hendricks and Jon-Jon Smuts. They have represented the Proteas at ODI or T20 level.
"I do not like singling out people but there is no doubt we have some dangerous players‚" Conrad said.
"The experience that players like Dwaine Pretorius‚ Behardien and Henry Davids bring to the side with the bat is massive.
"On the bowling front‚ Phangiso and Shamsi are two quality spinners and I think that spin is going to be important this week," he said.
"We also have Junior Dala, who was one of our best bowlers during the recent England tour across all formats and we are hoping he will continue on that trend."
SA A squad: Khaya Zondo (Dolphins‚ capt)‚ Farhaan Behardien (Titans)‚ Junior Dala (Titans)‚ Henry Davids (Titans)‚ Beuran Hendricks (Lions)‚ Reeza Hendricks (Lions)‚ Heinrich Klaasen (Titans)‚ Mangaliso Mosehle (Lions)‚ Wiaan Mulder (Lions)‚ Dane Paterson (Cobras)‚ Aaron Phangiso (Lions)‚ Dwaine Pretorius (Lions)‚ Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans)‚ Jason Smith (Cobras)‚ Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors)