Home Sport Cricket Proteas selectors have a Kyle conundrum to ponder

Proteas selectors have a Kyle conundrum to ponder

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Kyle Verreynne of South Africa during the 2022 2nd Betway ODI match against Bangladesh in Johannesburg on 20 March 2022. Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

Verreynne made a half century in Sunday’s victory in the second ODI, he’s also kept wicket and opened the batting in this series, is in form and feeling comfortable about his position as an international player following a maiden Test hundred a month ago in New Zealand.

Johannesburg – Kyle Verreynne has played and will continue to play a big role for the Proteas in the One-Day format, but that doesn’t mean his spot in the starting XI is cemented.

Verreynne made a half century in Sunday’s victory in the second ODI, he’s also kept wicket and opened the batting in this series, is in form and feeling comfortable about his position as an international player following a maiden Test hundred a month ago in New Zealand.

However, his spot in the One-Day side remains uncertain.

“I don’t want to say I am in a tricky position, but with the batting line-up we have at the moment, it is quite difficult to get a fixed position and cement a spot,” Verreynne said on the eve of the series-deciding ODI against Bangladesh. That is an unusual situation for someone, who is averaging 45.25 after 11 matches, having made four half-centuries in nine ODI innings.

ALSO READ: Parnell ruled out of Bangladesh decider with hamstring strain

Verreynne feels the key to featuring regularly is being adaptable, something he’s shown throughout his brief ODI career. The 24-year-old’s already featured as a frontline batter going in at No.4, and was part of the side that beat Australia 3-0 two years ago, when he, Quinton de Kock and Heinrich Klaasen all featured in the same starting team.

“For me it’s about being adaptable and making sure I can bat in any position, which I’ve sort of shown in this series,” he said.

Reflecting on the composition of the side that won on Sunday, Verreynne explained that given the balance of the starting team he wasn’t certain of playing in every match.

“In the last game we had five bowlers, and as we saw that can sometimes prove costly.”

Indeed Wayne Parnell’s injury – a left hamstring strain picked up during the second ODI, which will see him miss Wednesday’s match as a result – showed just how problematic it was for Temba Bavuma not having any extra options.

ALSO READ: KG and Quinny click as Proteas level ODI series

The skipper and Rassie van der Dussen, had to complete Parnell’s ration and while they did a good job, it would have been trickier had Kagiso Rabada not been on-song.

It’s unlikely that South Africa can continue its One-Day approach with just five bowlers. Never mind the concerns over injuries, it’s the tactical flexibility a sixth bowler provides to the captain, which is crucial.

Where does that then leave someone like Verreynne, who retained his spot Sunday ahead of the out-form Aiden Markram, who offers an option with the ball?

“If we do need to play a sixth bowler I am probably the guy that will  more often than not, miss out, which I understand,” he said. “Being aware of that, understanding that situation and knowing opportunities might be limited at this stage, it is important to make sure I am ready for whatever situation there is.”

Wednesday provides a dilemma for the selectors. They know Verreynne  is reliable, but they also know the dangers of not having more than five bowling options.

If the SuperSport Park pitch is once again slightly slower than the Wanderers one, then Verreynne may have to be sacrificed again, just to provide Bavuma with that extra bowling option.

The South African captain was declared fit for the third ODI after bruising his right hand while bowling last Sunday, but will not want to have to bowl six overs again.

With Parnell out, Marco Jansen is likely to make a return, while the debate about that sixth bowler, may well involve a recall for Markram or Andile Phehlukwayo, neither of whom performed with distinction in the first match. Dwaine Pretorius is another option that bears consideration.

Or perhaps, stick with Verreynne, at least you know what you’re getting from him at the moment.

“I’m just happy to be playing to be honest,” he said Tuesday.

Wednesday’s match starts at 1pm.

SQUADS:

South Africa – Temba Bavuma (capt), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock, Marco Jansen, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.

Bangladesh – Tamim Iqbal (Captain), Liton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hassan, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Ebadot Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Shakib Al-Hasan.

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