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Proteas head coach Mark Boucher says the team’s two warm-up games will provide a good indicator for who will be selected for the opening encounter in their ODI series against England.
Boucher was speaking at the team’s media conference in Taunton where they have been preparing ahead of their first warm-up clash against the England Lions at the same venue on Tuesday.
With at least eight batsmen in the running for a spot in the top four or five positions, he said the two games would give him a good idea of where the players are in terms of form and match readiness.
“If you have a look at the squad, it is a long tour, so we have guys here who could potentially be here for quite a few of the different series as well,” Boucher said. “We have quite a few different options.
“We have a good idea, barring one or two extra batters, of who our front line-up will be, so we just have to see how a little form plays itself out and hopefully we can get the proper headache of everyone being in the runs,” he said.
With regular limited-overs captain Temba Bavuma missing the tour due to injury, and England themselves seeing a change in captaincy after the departure of Eoin Morgan, Boucher said the opposition still posed a big threat in their own conditions.
The Proteas will be led by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, while Jos Buttler captains England.
“With Jos taking over, I am sure he will go with what has been successful for them. He might bring in one or two of his personal preferences into that environment, but we can only prepare for what we have seen in the recent past,” Boucher said.
While the Proteas have excelled in the game’s longest (Test) and shortest (T20) formats in terms of results, one aspect they will look to improve is their ODI form, Boucher said.
“I think we have the right players [to do well in the format]. I just think there may have been a lack of form and continuity with regards to certain series where we have lost players to the IPL,” the former Proteas wicketkeeper said.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.