Aaron Phangiso is likely to get his chance at the World T20 © AFP
Aaron Phangiso is set to make his first international appearance since remodelling his bowling action less than two weeks ago when South Africa face West Indies in Nagpur.
Phangiso is one of only two specialist spinners in the squad and with JP Duminy, who performs the role of part offspinner, ruled out with a hamstring injury, South Africa’s coach Russell Domingo indicated the selectors would have no choice but to play Phangiso.
“It’s definitely a wicket where you need to play two frontline spinners. Spin is going to be important here and we are fortunate that we have two quality spinners in Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso, I’m confident that both of them will get game time on Friday,” Domingo said.
There was a rush to get Phangiso’s action cleared before the World T20 – he was only passed a couple of days before the squad left for India – but despite that, and his limited recent match time of just two warm-up games, Domingo remained confident of his readiness.
“We have a good squad of players and whoever steps in knows that everyone supports and backs him 100%. Anyone of these 15 players in the squad are good enough to come in and do the job for us,” he said.
Phangiso’s inclusion will likely mean that South Africa have to shorten their line-up which could become a concern in Duminy’s absence and on a pitch Domingo thinks will be difficult to score off.
“JP is a big player for us. He is one of our main batters and is in good form, not having him is a big blow and does upset the balance of the side. We have some quality batsmen in our line-up who have played in these conditions before and have had success under these conditions. Whatever wicket they do prepare will be the same for both sides so it’s no major issue for us.”
On the flip side, that means South Africa’s bowlers, who leaked runs in Mumbai, may enjoy something of a reprieve. “We have played on two great wickets in Mumbai, our batters were happy with that but I think our bowlers will be happy to play on this wicket where runs will be harder to come by,” Domingo said.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo