Proteas young guns must fire
The young guns of South African cricket will be let loose at the Gabba in Brisbane in the second Twenty20 clash with Australia on Tuesday.
Wayne Parnell, who only turns 20 in July, will make his debut, while 23-year-old Vaughn van Jaarsveld will play only his second game for the national side. He made his debut in the defeat to the Aussies at the MCG on Sunday.
They are being thrown in at the deep end with JP Duminy and Morné Morkel, who are also both 23.
The selectors decided not to pick two of the most experienced members of the touring squad in Jacques Kallis and Neil McKenzie. Both are 33, which is an indication that the emphasis is shifting to youth in Twenty20 cricket.
Hopefully the Proteas won’t still be shell-shocked after what David Warner did to them in the first Twenty20 game.
Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting is cock-a-hoop after the first game in Melbourne, where 22-year-old Warner struck 89 off 43 deliveries. He is the first player in 132 years to represent Australia even before he has made first-class cricket.
However, the South Africans will be out to show him that international cricket is not the picnic he experienced at the MCG.
Having had first-hand experience of his destructive batting, the South African bowlers would have plotted carefully this time round. It was a forgettable night from a South African perspective, but there were a few positives.
If JP Duminy bats as impressively as he did at the MCG, he may just ensure that South Africa post a respectful score.
It’s also encouraging to see how well the South Africans fought back in their last ten bowling overs.
After being hit by Hurricane Warner initially, Botha, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini and Albie Morkel all performed well.
The new faces in the Aussie attack caught the South African batsmen off guard.
The lightning quick Shaun Tait, Nathan Bracken with his left-arm seamers and part-time off-spinner David Hussey caused huge problems.
South Africa need to play with a lot more conviction and that is why the inclusion of Hashim Amla in the top order will be welcomed.
Morné Morkel will have to bowl aggressively to frustrate the Aussie top order.
Losing can become a habit quickly and that is why South Africa will look to bounce back after losing the third test and first Twenty20 game.