South Africa in New Zealand 2016-17 February 25, 2017

Pretorius, Phehlukwayo provide Domingo plenty of cheers


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'We expect New Zealand to bounce back' - Parnell

In their most dominant performance on the tour of New Zealand so far, South Africa regained the one-day series lead with the kind of showing that coach Russell Domingo believes typifies their new style of play.

It is a brand of cricket built on shared responsibility with new members of the squad as able to contribute as some of the stalwarts. Dwaine Pretorius' career-best 3 for 5 from 5.2 overs on the back of a maiden half-century in Christchurch is the best example of it. 

"It's been a feature of our side's performances over the last year that the younger players have all come in and put in performances straight away which speaks a lot about where the team is at the moment and the culture of the group," Domingo said. "It's always pleasing when some new players are stepping up nor relying on one or two players."

And Pretorius is not the only one. Twenty-year-old Andile Phehlukwayo has emerged as a long-term all-round prospect and in the batting department, Quinton de Kock is one of the leading players in the world.

Although AB de Villiers, who became the fastest to 9000 ODI runs, was the man of the moment in Wellington, South Africa's recent ODI successes have been built on the foundations de Kock has laid. As he did in Test cricket last year, de Kock has reeled off five consecutive fifty-plus scores in ODIs. He has yet to convert one of his three in New Zealand into a century, but Domingo brushed that off as part of the game.  

"He has got a phenomenal rate of transferring those fifties to hundreds so I'm sure he'd be disappointed he hasn't got a hundred because he is playing as well as he has ever played. I suppose he would feel a little disappointed in the manner of some of his dismissals. That's the nature of how he plays.

"He is such an aggressive player and I by no means want to curb his natural instinct. He is an x-factor player and some days he is going to get it wrong and that's okay but on the days he gets it right, he is going to win the game for you. He is still a baby, its hard to believe he is only 24. We've had some great players play international cricket for South Africa, who've got 10 or 11 hundreds in 200 games. He has got 12 in 77. That's a phenomenal return for a young player like that."

At this early stage of de Kock's career, he already lies sixth on South Africa's ODI century-makers' list above a big name like Graeme Smith. The former captain played 196 ODIs and scored 10 centuries, de Kock could go on to double or even treble that. Also below de Kock is JP Duminy, who has played 170 ODIs and only has four hundreds to his name, three against Zimbabwe and one against Netherlands. 

Duminy has not registered three figures in two years, since the 2015 World Cup. In that time, he has managed just four fifties. Although he can cite limited opportunity - Duminy usually bats at No.5, behind players who don't often leave him with many overs to face - by his own admission, there have been chances wasted. 

After the Christchurch ODI, where he was given a chance at No 4, Duminy explained he understood he needed to step up. "A lot of us got in but we didn't take it home for the team. That's something we need to look at - especially myself, getting in and not taking it home for the team," he said.

He was unable to in Wellington, where he was run-out and his string of low scores - only one over 30 in seven innings - could raise concerns, especially with Farhaan Behardien waiting on the bench. 

Some pressure for his place may be just what Duminy needs to kickstart a change in fortunes, as it did in Tests. After being dropped last summer during the series against England, Duminy returned with a much improved mindset and scored two important hundreds, in Perth and in Johannesburg, to prove he still has plenty to offer. The upcoming Tests will be another chance for Duminy to build on that progress. 

Eight members of the Test squad, who are not part of the limited-overs outfit, will arrive in Auckland on Sunday, where they will begin a week-long camp. Batting coach Neil McKenzie and fitness trainer Greg King will break away from the ODI group to oversee the Test players' preparations. South Africa do not have a warm-up match before the series starts in Dunedin on March 8 but all their players have been in action in the domestic one-day cup.

Among them are the two senior seamers, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, who are the favourites to make up a pace pack with Kagiso Rabada, although South Africa have three other quicks in reserve. Rabada will be the most worked of all of them, with South Africa well aware of his importance to every XI. Rabada was left out of the Christchurch game with a knee niggle and returned in Wellington and Domingo has explained that its unlikely Rabada will be given time off with the series still on the line. 

"It's a fine line between resting players and trying to win series. You've got to try and and manage that process quite carefully, particularly for a guy like KG. I read the other day that he bowled 200 overs more than anybody else in the last year. He is only 21," Domingo said. "But its hard to leave KG out of the next game in Hamilton. He is a seriously good bowler and it's no coincidence that when he is back in the mix, we look a seriously good side."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Brokensaint on February 28, 2017, 21:28 GMT

    jp needs to go we can't carry a 170 game veteran that has only scored 4 hundreds all against minnows. We can't afford it.

  • diren on February 28, 2017, 17:23 GMT

    @shovwar.....Thank you. At least you are on the same level as me. We understand cricket and team dynamics like no other.

  • shovwar on February 27, 2017, 22:43 GMT

    Diri I agree with u that if u put that Aussie team of the 2000s against this SA team. (With the same form) SA will prevail. But it would be unfair because Cricket has changed. Its more competitve now. Its a batters game and McGrath, Warne and Lee would find it comparatively harder. AB would probably smack them out of the park. But with due respect, McGrath, Warne in the past condition werethe best. And if you compare that Aussie Team in those Situations and Conditions compared to the rest of world then. They where World Beaters. Judging by the differences between the oppositions of the 2 era. That Aussie Team is slightly ahead. This SA team comparing to the oppositions now are doing amazing even when travlling. We have become conquerors and soon I believe we have the abilty to become the best team of all eras. But only if we can become mentally tough, have another mean bowler like Rabada and win the CT and a WC with this team. But i understood ur point. You are correct at your point.

  • Paul on February 27, 2017, 20:27 GMT

    CRICUSER...if Bavuma goes, which I don't believe will happen soon as he is still dining out on his century on a rad at Newlands, de Bruyn has to be the next cab off the rank. Even with the crazy discriminatory quota system, Zondo cannot leapfrog de Bruyn. Will need to find an allrounder spot for Andile if Themba falls, all of which shows the nonsense of the system. Oh for non-racialism, for a team of South Africans!!!

  • Nkosi on February 27, 2017, 15:48 GMT

    Im chuffed about the bowling talent in SA. I hope we keep it up. We seem to be producing every type of bowler. We just need to replace JP with a younger batsmen and maybe start giving Amla and faf a rest too. Just to give other younger batsman some experience. Im worried all these guys will retire at the same time, but maybe after CT.

  • diren on February 27, 2017, 14:50 GMT

    I can see some people cannot read or choose to ignore the facts . I have given you a like for like comparison to prove to you why this SA team is better than the Aus team as mentioned below. Some people say I did not watch the Aus team . Others just mention the Aus team were "legends " . Firstly I watched lots of Aus cricket in their peak and secondly so what if they were greats in that team ? This SA team has greats in the team as well. You are comparing a old team which played under less stressful conditions to this SA team who travel the world and win almost everywhere . Please if you think that the old AUS team could beat the current SA team you are living in the past. They were the best At that time. Yes. But would they beat this SA team ??? No way.

  • ZUBAIR on February 27, 2017, 14:24 GMT

    @EVDA_CHETA, by the way this is a bilateral series so we are just beating what is in our schedule we can't do anymore also the next 50 over world cup is in 2 years so plenty time to stack up on bilateral series wins between now and then dont you think and by the way we are numero uno in the Odi rankings.

  • rynelr8107044 on February 27, 2017, 12:02 GMT

    Duminy is a quota player, there are other players of colour that deserve a chance, it is unbelievable the chances this guy has had and he still dissapoints, his batting position got nothing to do with his mediocre batting, at that position he should have a higher average with many not out scores but he failed there to... too many excuses

  • Cricinfouser on February 27, 2017, 10:34 GMT

    Although Duminy has undoubtely been a benfeciary of quotas the bigger issue is that he's part of the AB/Faf clique. It was like like Mark Boucher who stayed in the team, despite only having a test average of 30, because he was mates with Smith and Kallis. Clique players are always undroppable. If we need to have quota player in Duminy's position then in the ODI team it should be Jason Smith or even Behardien. In the test team they should consider Zondo - although I suspect he may be replacing Bavuma very soon.

  • Bazza on February 27, 2017, 10:12 GMT

    Interesting how much JP doninates selection discussions.... Grassburn... Contradiction in terms... "JP is a workhorse and when chips are down he performs" in recent memory i cannot remember situations whereby hes tegularly pulled SA out of the poo! Hes had his time and needs to go back to donestic cricket now. Enough is enough. And people comparing Amla with JP what a joke! Worlds apart those 2.

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