Hashim Amla will miss South Africa's limited tour through Australia in November, as he is given time to fully recover from a tendon finger injury before a summer at home and the World Cup next year.
While South Africa is still to announce its team for three ODIs and a T20I against Australia in early November, coach Ottis Gibson confirmed that Amla would not be making the trip.
"As a selection group, we've already discussed it with him," Gibson said. . "We'll give him as much time as possible so he's ready for the next cricket game he has to come."
Amla's continued absence means there will be more opportunities for other hitters to make a top-of-the-line claim in Australia, but Gibson warned that for the World Cup contenders, "the window is closing".
"During the last 12 months we have been looking at the players, and for the next two months the window is closing," he said. "We are getting closer and closer to the guys we want on the trip."
South Africa played bilateral ODIs in Australia four years ago, at the start of a season that included the 2015 World Cup. Amla and Quinton de Kock established themselves as an opening pair by then, and have since formed one of the best alliances South Africa's opening race, having won almost 4000 ODI races together, including the country's greatest resistance of all time, its 282-race demolition in Bangladesh last year.
With Amla injured and De Kock rested for the ODI against Zimbabwe, South Africa tested Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks as starters. While Elgar suspended the audition with single-digit scores, Markram and Hendricks collected 75 in the third ODI and Gibson suggested that despite the complicated pitches played, "we know where we are with those two."
"We know that Quinny and Hashim have been a fantastic first pair for the Proteas for a long time, and we also know that Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram have also been very good at the franchise cricket," said Gibson. "The windows at the beginning of the series, especially in the one-day cricket, were a little difficult to hit, so from that point of view we could not see as much as we would have liked, but we know where we are with those two."
Gibson's evaluation of his superior order during the one-day tournaments against Zimbabwe became a bit more difficult due to some erratic pitches at the start of the season, particularly in the second ODI in Bloemfontein, when a Dale Steyn returned to attack of the batsmen of Zimbabwe. and defend himself during a spell that bordered absolutely dangerous. The pitch at Kimberley was also completely different in character: the last time South Africa was there, Kock and Amla had crushed Bangladesh with that record-breaking spot.
"It's the beginning of the season and you do not want to be too harsh with the outfielders, but from the point of view of the players it's obviously disappointing," he said. Gibson. "Because while we're creating opportunities, we still need decent facilities to play in. I think in a place like Kimberley, where you probably only have one game a year, you only have one chance to do it right and they probably did not do it as well as they could. that said, it's always been a good installation, last year we got 280 for 0 at Kimberley, Obviously, they had some challenges over the winter, and that can happen, 19659002] "The wicket at Bloem actually looked like a good wicket. It always looks good until you play at it. And when we played in that, Dale had his tail that night. Some kept low, others bounced, which is not what you want when you try to bet a place on the team. "
Unless you're a bowler, that's it, while the capricious tone certainly added to the macabre. In the theater of Steyn's spell in the terrified Zimbabweans, Gibson admitted that an attack, dismissal and terrifying Steyn was an "exciting" sight.
"The really exciting thing for me was seeing Dale Steyn bowling in Bloem" He said, "It was great to see him bowling again at that level and doing it so fast with that skill and precision. That's really exciting. "
There have also been some convincing performances in the T20, with Rassie van der Dussen debuting at 50 and Robbie Frylinck demonstrating how effective he can be as a limited-change bowler. ruled out the possibility that the outstanding performances in the next Mzansi Super League or the cricket of the franchise could lead to a selection of "wild cards" for the World Cup 50.
"The convener will have his sleeve, if you are thinking about the Ryder Cup (where the coaches will choose the wild card players), you may have a selection of wild cards and there is always an opportunity for someone to put on the picture. If Rassie or whoever goes and really breaks the Super League with performances, then it can make that person difficult to ignore. There is still an opportunity if you have not played this season to do that in the cricket franchise. "
In fact, the audacity demanded by the T20 format is similar to the formula and style of play that South Africa is trying to do with The shoehorn, cricket day, and what could make a player attractive to the ODI thinktank of South Africa is the willingness to play "non-South African" cricket, whether that means leaving conservatism in search of adventures in the side. Top of the order or stacking a bowling attack with two twists of wrist to accompany the rapids, is the kind of cricket that Gibson wants his team to play.
"When we were in Sri Lanka, one of my South African friends said that is a little non-South African that is trying to play So many takes so early and you need to build a possibility. But you can still build a positive possibility, what we did in the first games. So the key is to have the will to move on when things get difficult.
"That's the only way we're going to advance as a batting team, and obviously within that there will be mistakes and you'll just have to take the chin while you think you're doing is the right thing to do. Next time ".