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Gary Kirsten Happy with Proteas’ Progress

Published on Feb 24th, 2012, No Comments

South African cricket coach, Gary Kirsten will be welcoming the return of experienced players Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn ahead of the team’s ODI against New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday.

The two players have returned after having been rested during the series against Sri Lanka last month. Kirsten commented that from a team perspective, rotating players works well.

He said that “We can rest players and we can look at other individuals, which I think is important for us and it allows us to build our depth. It also rests some of our seniors players who are getting to a stage where they can’t be expected to play in all the games.”

Kirsten made particular reference to Jacques Kallis who having already had a 17-year career cannot be expected to play all the time as “things are catching up with him.”

Kirsten also said that “I’m enjoying the flexibility that we have created within the batting line-up, especially with guys getting more comfortable with the fact that where they sit on the batting order is based on a situation rather than a fixed position. I think that is outdated thinking in cricket. I’m really excited about that and we are getting a feel for those guys that can play in a certain type of way in a game and those that can close games for us.”

Kallis is expected to play in his 320th ODI and averages 42.11 against the Black Caps in 43 matches he has played against them since his international debut. Kallis has commented that he has been playing some of the best cricket of his career.

“I’m probably batting as well as I’ve ever batted, certainly from a confidence point of view and a technical point of view,” Kallis said. “The last couple of years I’ve really felt good and scored quite quickly because I have got into good positions.”

As for the newer players on the team, while Richard Levi smashed a record century in the second of three matches, Kirsten gave special mention to pace bowler Marchant de Lange.

Source: IOL Sport