Opinion: Proteas find age balance in Mulder and Frylinck

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

South Africa have called up a 19-year-old and 33-year-old and, while fans and critics alike have a tendency to fixate on age, all and sundry must be pleased with Tuesday's announcement.

Wiaan Mulder's addition to the ODI squad is very exciting - and one hopes he gets a go in the series against Bangladesh, particularly if the third ODI is a deadrubber on the back of convincing wins in the first and second. The young all-rounder has been drafted in as an injury replacement for Wayne Parnell, but there is no genuine reason he shouldn't be playing ahead of, say, Dwaine Pretorius.

If the Proteas really want to test the bench strength among the limited-overs all-rounders in the absence of Chris Morris, as convenor of selectors Linda Zondi stated earlier this week, then blooding Mulder in a largely inconsequential series against the weak Bangladeshis is required. His talents will be wasted on the sidelines, as was the case with Aiden Markram during the Test tour of England.

Robbie Frylinck had been waiting a long time for Tuesday's call-up and, to many, the opportunity seemed to have past. A couple of seasons ago, I anticipated Cameron Delport cracking the nod for the T20I squad ahead of Frylinck, but the former signed a Kolpak deal while the later remained loyal - and has since been rewarded.

Twenty20 cricket is the right platform for Frylinck to make his international debut. ODI competition would have been a bridge too far for the rotund Durbanite. South Africa will do well to bat him in the middle order, too. He was evidently underestimated during a recent stint with the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League, where the full value of his big-hitting prowess was not adequately explored. The right-arm seamer's cutters, slower balls and other variations will be handy on the sluggish pitches expected in Bloemfontein and Potchefstroom as well.

Stepping away from international cricket, but maintaining focus on youth versus experience, I'm really pleased with what coach Ashwell Prince is doing at the Cape Cobras. Last season's on- and off-field shambles left behind by Paul Adams are gradually being forgotten, as a slew of youngsters - including Michael Cohen, Zubayr Hamza and Kyle Verreynne - are being empowered.

Yes, the Cobras are still at the bottom of the Sunfoil Series standings and have yet to win a match this season, but that's okay for now. The required turnaround won't happen overnight. It's key, though, that Prince doesn't lose faith in those he is inspiring - and largely sticks with them through thick and thin, rather than make changes at the first sign of failure. His 'big picture' mentality has been impressive so far.

It's worth highlighting the performances of Cohen and Verreynne in particular. The left-arm fast bowler achieved a maiden first-class five-wicket haul against the Warriors earlier this week, while the wicketkeeper-batsman is averaging over 50 for the Cobras and proving sharp behind the stumps. Long may it continue.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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