SA v PAK 2018-19: Ottis Gibson not concerned with Proteas batsmen’s lacklustre showing in Sri Lanka

South Africa's top-order largely struggled during their 2-0 Test series defeat in Sri Lanka four months back.

Ottis Gibson | Getty

Although the majority of South Africa batsmen struggled during their Test tour to Sri Lanka four months back, coach Ottis Gibson is confident of a strong batting performance in the upcoming three-Test series against Pakistan at home.

During the two-match Test series in the island nation, Dean Elgar had averaged 12.25 while the veteran Hashim Amla and young opener Aiden Markram averaged just a paltry 10 each. As a result, South Africa had suffered a humiliating 2-0 series defeat against Sri Lanka.

"There is no concern with regards to them. What happened in Sri Lanka has no relevance here even though Pakistan may choose spinners. Here in South Africa, wickets don't spin as much as they do in Sri Lanka. Aiden scored 1000 runs last year and he is back in familiar home conditions. With regards to Dean, he is an absolute street fighter. He is always close to hitting a double-hundred and that is fantastic,” Gibson quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

Amla’s form has been the cause of concern for the Proteas as he looked out of sorts in the ongoing Mzansi Super League. Playing for the Durban Heat, Amla managed to aggregate only 71 runs in seven matches. However, Gibson refused to read much into the veteran's form in the shortest format of the game.

"Hash has been carrying niggles that have not allowed him to do the things that he wants to do. The fact that the (MSL) has finished a little earlier for him means he can go back and get some solid work done around Test cricket. His experience means he's had dips in form before and he knows what he needs to do to work it out,” Gibson remarked.

"I chatted to him this week and I'm pretty sure he's having a net today because he is probably desperate to get back to watching the ball again. T20 wants you to score off every ball and Hash maybe just wants to have the opportunity to leave a few before he starts to expand," he further asserted.

Pakistan’s tour of South Africa will commence on December 26 with the first Test at Centurion and Gibson is hopeful of getting a pitch that aids pace and bounce.

"In my day, you knew what you would get from a Centurion wicket, and of late it seems to have changed. The groundsmen know what sort of pitch we want - a good old Centurion pitch with a little bit of pace and bounce in it. Centurion normally never spins and if it does spin, that happens on day four or five. Last year it turned from the first session, it was a little bit different," he concluded.


By Salman Anjum - 16 Dec, 2018

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