Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Opinion: The Proteas need runs from Andile Phehlukwayo in Test cricket

Opinion: The Proteas need runs from Andile Phehlukwayo in Test cricket

Andile Phehlukwayo has proven to be a great white-ball bowler and keeps improving in Test cricket but the Proteas really need him to improve with the bat in the ultimate format.

If Phehlukwayo wants to establish himself in the Test team his batting in the longer formats needs to improve.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

He has scored just 19 runs in his four Test innings to date and his first-class record doesn't reflect his potential with the willow either.

Injuries to Wiaan Mulder and Lungi Ngidi have given Phehlukwayo another opportunity to impress in the series against England, but if selected he will have to match the runs the Three Lions allrounders lay down.

England's lower order have managed to bail out their misfiring top order several times over the last few years so the Proteas can ill-afford for Phehlukwayo to act as an extra tailender rather than an extra batsman.

His half-century for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins against the Cape Cobras in four-day competition in October was promising but since then the left-handed batsman hasn't had a great deal of time in the middle.

Like most of the Proteas multi-format players Phehlukwayo has been engaged in the Mzansi Super League.

In his last match in red-ball cricket at Supersport Park Phehlukwayo showed some application but was batting down at number 8 for the Dolphins below the likes of Sibonelo Makhanya.

The allrounder says he thrives on the high-pressure moments of  limited-overs internationals, but Test cricket is a different animal, and Phehlukwayo has struggled to keep world-class bowlers at bay for very long when forced to be more conservative.

Lions' allrounder Dwaine Pretorius has earned a first call-up and his presence is a clear indicator the Proteas need to beef up their batting in any way possible. Pretorius doesn't bring the same skillset as Phehlukwayo with the ball but the 30-year-old does have five first-class hundreds to his name.

Phehlukwayo found favour with Ottis Gibson because of his bowling, but Mark Boucher will be looking for more from his allrounders. He must make the most of this recall or he could see his Test career falter.

The man from Port Shepstone is unlikely to command a spot in the same XI as Vernon Philander if he cannot prove himself at least a match of the veteran with bat in hand.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets 

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