Dunedin (New Zealand): Coach Gary Kirsten believes that South Africa’s cricketing juggernaut is passing through an interesting and exciting time, especially in terms of player selection.
He believes that Cricket South Africa’s current policy of blooding different players for different formats will help the sport to flourish in the not too distant future.
Speaking on Monday about the impact of using 23 players in three formats of the game by the time the test series is finished, Kirsten said he would like to have a national squad of 20 players within two years.
“It’s very exciting for South African cricket. Not only are we selecting a lot of different players for the different formats, but they are rising to the challenge and putting in huge performances. It’s a great sign for the future,” Sports24 quoted Kirsten, as saying.
Kirsten that the players for the Test matches against New Zealand are hard at work acclimatising to local conditions and the debilitating time difference, with just six days to go.
“We have five new players, how quickly can they prepare, physically and mentally? One bad session, and we can be in trouble early. We have spoken about the need to be sharp straight away when the test series starts, we can’t affords to be caught napping. The last day of my test career (in Wellington, 2004) it was nine degrees! But talk is cheap, we just need to go out there and experience it. We can prepare the players as well as we can, but they have to go out there and do it,” Kirsten said.
Kirsten was unequivocal about the role of the spinner in the team.
“I think you need a spinner in a test match. But let’s see what the next 48 hours serves up,” he said.