Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Opinion: Proteas looking for a T20 crash course months out from World Cup

Opinion: Proteas looking for a T20 crash course months out from World Cup

Proteas looking for a T20 crash course months out from World Cup

The Proteas emphasized ahead of the T20I series against England that learning would be their primary focus.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

In East London, the Proteas got a crash course in the kind of pressure situations that the T20 World Cup could throw up.

The Proteas won the match but also learned a lot about closing out games with the ball.

The young bowling attack made mistakes, but they were also able to reverse the pressure onto England in a chase when the Proteas probably fell 25 runs or so short of the total they could have put on the board.

The Proteas will be hard-pressed to learn more from a victory, albeit one achieved by the narrowest of margins.

There were plenty of things that fell into place better than Team Director Mark Boucher may have hoped for. Temba Bavuma has pressed his claim to be the Proteas white-ball opening partner to skipper Quinton de Kock.

De Kock himself handled the team very well even if he might have hoped for more from certain players, especially the team's finishers who weren't able to achieve satisfactory acceleration at the death.

Beuran Hendricks will be mindful of exactly how close he came to losing the match for his team with three bang average balls in the penultimate over. Hendricks' intent was excellent on each occasion, but his execution was off starting with a slower ball bouncer that sat up for England skipper Eoin Morgan. Morgan would plunder Hendricks for another four and a six and seemed to have the match wrapped up, but there would be a twist.

Hendricks kept at his task and got the wicket that set up a tense final over.

England needed just seven, but the batsmen at the crease were not set, and Lungi Ngidi was bowling well.

Ngidi's return to the team and immediate match-winning performance will be an enormous boost to the Proteas.

One thing we learned in East London, is that Ngidi is the Proteas best death bowling option.

Another thing that was reinforced were the gamebreaking qualities of Andile Phehlukwayo who produced wickets for the Proteas at crucial times. His batting continues to show promise, and though he can hit the long ball, he needs to improve his consistency to lift this team who have struggled to make the most of strong starts.

Every T20I the Proteas play this year will be with the World Cup in mind, and the England series will give Boucher a very good idea of the path to the tournament.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets 

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