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Opportunity beckons for the Proteas

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Think about it. When last have the Proteas been blessed with a pace attack as potent as the current line-up?

Picture: Gavin Barker BackpagePix

Dale Steyn. Kagiso Rabada. Vernon Philander. Lungi Ngidi. And now Duanne Olivier, too.

Think about it. When last have the Proteas been blessed with a pace attack as potent as the current line-up?

Proteas coach Ottis Gibson and captain Faf du Plessis must be purring like two cats in front of a bowl of cream. And remember, we have not even mentioned the spinning abilities of Keshav Maharaj.

What this means in cold practical terms is that batsmen facing the Proteas bowlers never really have a chance to take a breather and milk some runs. Instead, they face an unrelenting combination of pace and swing coming at them from both ends.

All this really bodes well for what is, after all, a World Cup year.

In what will be very handy preparation for the World Cup, the Proteas start the ODI series against Pakistan in Port Elizabeth tomorrow. The five ODIs around the country will be followed by two T20 matches.

It is not just in the bowling department that things are looking up for the World Cup. Quinton de Kock, Temba Bavuma, the old warhorse Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram all made significant contributions with the bat.

Captain Du Plessis was simply magnificent in compiling a patient and priceless century at Newlands. And newcomer Zubayr Hamza made a promising Test debut.

It’s very important that the Proteas carry their Test form into the ODI series. A convincing series victory over Pakistan (how about 5-0!) would be just the ticket for the World Cup.

Because, no matter how good the Proteas have been this year, they need to finally put years of heartache behind them when they pack their bags for the World Cup in England this year.

They have the players, no doubt about it. Now it is just a matter of self-belief and continuing the rich form they have displayed so far in 2019.