Allan Donald will not be unhappy that Wiaan Mulder has been plucked from the crease in Potchefstroom and packed off to Paarl.
On Monday‚ Mulder was batting for the Lions against the Knights in a first-class match in Potchefstroom that is scheduled to end on Thursday.
His call-up was announced on Tuesday and on Wednesday, he will be part of SA’s squad for the second one-day international against Bangladesh.
Mulder’s inclusion comes at the expense of Wayne Parnell‚ who has been ruled out of the last two one-day internationals with a groin injury.
But Donald would no doubt prefer to see it as part of SA coach Ottis Gibson’s grand plan for the 2019 World Cup.
"He wants to see youngsters‚ and I think it will be good to see some young guys we’ve never seen before‚" Donald said before Mulder cracked the nod.
"I’ve read some names of guys I haven’t seen play all that much‚ but the fact that Ottis wants to play fringe players is wonderful," he said.
"He’s expanding his scope‚ and it’s not a bad time to have a look and see what he wants. I like the idea of giving some young players a go and surrounding them with really good leaders‚ like AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla."
That might make Donald sound like someone who wants his old job back. He was SA’s bowling coach under Gary Kirsten, and Gibson has yet to choose his assistants.
But there is no doubting that Mulder fits the bill. He is only 19 but has been playing for SA’s under-19 side since April 2015.
An allrounder‚ he has scored two half-centuries in five innings for the "Test" team and taken a dozen wickets at 15.33.
In 26 innings for the national under-19 one-day team‚ Mulder has made five 50s and claimed 31 scalps at 19.32 with a strike rate of 28.77 and an economy rate of 4.02. Those will remain simply numbers indicating potential until Mulder shows he belongs at the highest level.
He needs to look only as far as Parnell — who captained SA all the way to the 2008 under-19 World Cup final — to see how inconsistency and injuries can stymie what should be a great career. And also to see what happens when promise is fulfilled: SA’s opponents in that final were India. Their captain? Virat Kohli.
So Mulder should need no motivation should he make his debut on Wednesday.
There is no reason why he should not. On the evidence of the first one-day international in Kimberley on Sunday SA should be able to beat Bangladesh even if they put their support staff on the field.
The visitors‚ who lost both Tests by wide margins‚ looked up for it when they totalled a decent 278/7 — which they reached in no small part thanks to Mushfiqur Rahim scoring the first century by a Bangladeshi against SA‚ a fine 110 not out.
But SA dominated them at the batting crease‚ where Quinton de Kock made an undefeated 168 and Amla 110 not out to clinch victory by 10 wickets with 7.1 overs to spare.
The pitch was flat‚ the outfield fast and the straight boundaries unkindly short‚ but what undid Bangladesh was bowling that seemed bereft of ideas for how to contain the South Africans.
Paarl can swing both ways. SA made 301/8 against Sri Lanka there in 2012 — and then dismissed the Lankans for 43.
It is not difficult to imagine something similar happening on Wednesday. So much so that SA might want to send some of the players who did not get a knock on Sunday to the middle earlier than usual.
Yes‚ it has come to that for the hapless Bangladeshis.
Uncapped Robbie Frylinck‚ a ripe 33‚ has been named in the squad to play two T20s against the Bangladeshis.
"The selection of Robbie provides another opportunity to explore our depth in the important allrounder position‚" said selection convenor Linda Zondi.
The one-day internationals will be played in Paarl on Wednesday and in East London on Sunday‚ with the T20s in Bloemfontein next Thursday and Potch next Sunday.
SA T20 squad: Faf du Plessis (capt)‚ Hashim Amla‚ Farhaan Behardien‚ Quinton de Kock‚ AB de Villiers‚ JP Duminy‚ Robbie Frylinck‚ Beuran Hendricks‚ David Miller‚ Mangaliso Mosehle‚ Dane Paterson‚ Aaron Phangiso‚ Andile Phehlukwayo‚ Tabraiz Shamsi