South Africa‘s 87-run victory over Sri Lanka in their first ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup warm-up match on Friday must have boosted their confidence before heading into the premier tournament. But the victory has also raised some selection questions for the winning side. Friday’s match saw Andile Phehlukwayo scoring 35 runs while Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius played a knock of unbeaten 26 and 25 runs, respectively. In the bowling department too Phehlukwayo shined as he took four wickets whereas Pretorius took one wicket. But despite them putting up a convincing performance, skipper Faf du Plessis said that they all cannot feature at the same time. Hence, the Proteas will have to make some tough calls ahead of the quadrennial tournament.
“There is definitely not space for three of them. Depending on fitness, Dale Steyn is progressing. So, if he doesn’t progress the way that he wants to then two all-rounders come into the equation. If our fast bowlers are all fit, we love that diversity in our attack,” ICC quoted Du Plessis as saying. However, Phehlukwayo said that they have good depth in the squad and whoever will feature in the all-rounder position will get the job done for their team. “I think there is quite good competition and good depth within the squad,” Phehlukwayo said. “Personally, I am not looking in terms of those competitions. I just want to contribute for the team, whoever is playing in that all-rounder position is obviously the person in form and hopefully they can do the job for the team. Aside from that I don’t think personally I have any agenda in terms of the all-rounder,” he said.
“We have a very diverse squad so I think on the day we can play any combinations and that team that is fit to play will do everything to perform and to win the game for South Africa. So, at the moment I am really not sure, but I know that the diversity and the depth that we have in our squad is really good so whoever is fit to play will do the job for the team,” he added. Phehlukwayo also opined that the team who will bowl well in the tournament will win the tournament. “I think it is going to be a high scoring tournament. I think the team that bowls really well in this tournament will win the tournament,” he said.
After registering a victory over Sri Lanka, South Africa will now face West Indies for their second warm-up game on May 26 before heading to the World Cup where they will face England in the opening match of the World Cup on May 30.