Pretoria: After having lost the tri-series final to India A few days back, South Africa A, would look to bounce back when they take on the same opponents in the first of the two four-day games beginning on Saturday at the Assupol Tuks Oval in Pretoria on Saturday. South Africa A coach Shukri Conrad believes that his team isn’t thinking about the tri-series loss and instead is focussed on the four-day matches.
The hosts had a good tri-series campaign but could end on a high as India A proved to be the better side on the given day. But a changed side would look to make a statement against visitors India in the four-day games.
South Africa A’s squad for the four-games features names like David Miller, Duanne Olivier, Dane Paterson and Andile Phehlukwayo who would be led Aiden Markram, all of whom represented the national side in England for the past few months.
“We had a really good one-day series despite us being beaten comprehensively in the final,” said Conrad. “I thought the toss had a lot to do with that, but overall I was happy.
He further added, “We have a lot of new faces, a lot of fresh energy. There’s a lot of experience here around this four-day group, and if the recent training sessions have been anything to go by, then it’s going to be a good couple of weeks.”
The 50-year old also believes that it’s not just the fresh faces that could make a difference but it is also the attitude of the players that is going to play a major role in the four-day games.
Other than the above names, the South African squad would also include experienced campaigners like Stephen Cook and Dane Piedt who would look to make a statement.
Said Conrad, “I’m not sure if it’s about the personnel necessarily, all you ever want is hungry players, players that want to be here and players that want to perform.”
“Not wanting to single anyone out, but for example if you take a David Miller, who is a must-have anywhere in the world in any T20 side and this is where he’s chosen to be. That says a lot about who David is at the moment and what he’s wanting to achieve going forward. I’m sure the rest of the guys will rub off from that as well,” he added.
On the other hand, the Indian side would too see some new faces. Test triple centurion Karun Nair will take over from the captaincy from Manish Pandey and names like Sudip Chatterjee, Jayant Yadav and Shahbaz Nadeem are set to be a part of the team coached by the legendary Rahul Dravid.
The 19-year-old Ishan Kishan would don the keeping gloves as Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Siraj and Shreyas Iyer are the only ones in the squad who were part of the limited overs’ side under Manish Pandey.
The Indians having won the tri-series would want to continue with their dominance in the four-day matches as well.