South Africa to stick to six batsmen formulae against Australia

South Africa majorly fielded seven batsmen since the last four years.

Gibson also pressed on solidity at the top of the order. (Getty)

South Africa will start preparations for their next tour to Australia where they will be sticking to the six batsmen formulae, a strategy which their new coach Ottis Gibson will put into use. The coach is generally in favor of fielding four bowlers and this strategy will help him to strategize this idea. 

Having an extra bowler certainly helped South Africa to pick wickets, but the Indian batsmen were more than a handful in getting South Africa bowled out as well with one batsman short. 

Reflecting on the series, Gibson highlighted the new team balance as one of the positives for South Africa. "We wanted to have four fast bowlers so obviously we left out a batsman, and that worked against the best team in the world. So that's something we can look at going into the Australia series," he said.

"I wouldn't say it's a concern. It's a concern when everybody doesn't make runs but if you look at the series as a whole they were very tough batting conditions. Even in Centurion where the wicket was dry and a bit flatter they were still tough conditions," he said. "So not everybody is going to get a score but people got runs when the team needed runs and that's why we won the first two games."

The batsman who will need the biggest boost is Quinton de Kock, who scored just 71 runs in the series at an average of 14.2 batting at No 6. With the wicketkeeper-batsman set to play in the opening three ODIs of a six-match series against India, Gibson was hopeful that the change of format could lead to a change in fortune.

"He got a proper examination and one that he will have to sit down and reflect on," said Gibson. "But as far as going forward is concerned, he is a key component of our team. His keeping was outstanding. Him and I and batting coach Dale Benkenstein will sit down and work out how to rebuild his confidence. He's got a one-day series (against India) and he might come out and score four hundreds - that's the talent and ability of the individual we are talking about. So there are no worries from my side with regards to Quinton."

Asked what sort of pitches South Africa would like for the Australia series, Gibson said: "We will play Australia on good pitches. There are three games on the coast, so those pitches will be a little bit different to highveld wickets. I don't know whether we should be telling people what we would like, but we'll look forward to playing on good pitches" concluded Gibson. 

By Anshuman Roy - 29 Jan, 2018

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