Heinz Schenk
3 minute read
19 Jan 2017
4:34 pm

5 posers for the ‘fresh’ Proteas – answered by Farhaan Behardien

Heinz Schenk

South Africa's T20 skipper for the series against Sri Lanka gives an insight into how the hosts will approach things.

You can bet on David Miller batting higher up in the upcoming T20 series against Sri Lanka. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

An inexperienced Proteas side will take on the Sri Lankans in a three-match T20 series starting on Friday in Centurion.

The majority of squad either had a small or absolutely no taste of international cricket.

Also read: From Ngidi to Smuts: Who are the Proteas T20 newbies?

It leads to some interesting questions over how South Africa will approach the series.

Here are five posers, answered by Farhaan Behardien, the Proteas’ skipper.

David Miller this week expressed his desire to bat higher up in the order. Will he be allowed to?

(Chuckles) I think I’ll grant him his wish. He’s been very destructive over the past few months. The Knights used him up the order in the recent domestic T20 competition. Letting him bat at No 4 gives him more time and more balls to face. If he bats for 50 or 60 deliveries, he’ll definitely have a hundred. That’s his nature. You’ll definitely see him bat higher in this series.

With so many good top-order batters like Theunis de Bruyn, Heino Kuhn, Reeza Hendricks, Jon-Jon Smuts and Behardien in the squad, who exactly is earmarked to bat at No 3 and 4?

 One of the things we’ve discussed this week is that most of the batters can fulfil different roles. The order depends mainly on the day and the conditions. Heino has opened the batting for the Titans for years. He’s used to the new ball. A guy like Mangaliso Mosehle has batted at No 3 for the Highveld Lions and is comfortable at No 6 or 7. It all depends on how the team shapes up for a specific game.

Heino Kuhn and Mangaliso Mosehle are both excellent wicketkeepers and fielders. Who will don the gloves?

 Mangi is definitely our first-choice keeper in this series. It’s a role he’s very familiar with. He’ll put on the gloves.

Is this Proteas squad really as young as cricket fans think it is?

I’d rather call us a fresh squad. A lot of the guys, especially someone like (32-year-old) Heino Kuhn, have been playing franchise cricket for a long time. I started playing 11 years ago with Heino. Jon-Jon Smuts is one of the most experienced openers in franchise cricket. Even (Cobras fast bowler) Dane Paterson has played for South Africa ‘A’. Most of the guys are young in age but they’ve actually been playing domestic cricket for some time. Only (Titans quick) Lungi Ngidi, at 20, is inexperienced. But even he has played in two domestic T20 finals. These guys are used to pressure situations.

Also read: I’m a light-hearted captain, says Farhaan Behardien

Is Farhaan Behardien relishing the challenge of his first proper captaincy assignment?

It’s an achievement I’m very proud of. I have captained the Titans on the odd occasion. I’ve actually learned a lot from Albie Morkel (the former Proteas all-rounder) as a leader in T20 cricket. David Wiese and I actually had to take over the captaincy in the domestic T20 final when Albie had to leave the field. I thought we navigated things quite well. I hope to empower my teammates.

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