South Africa includes Aaron Phangiso to boost spin attack

South Africa includes Aaron Phangiso to boost spin attack

South Africa v New Zealand
Aaron Phangiso. (Photo Source: AFP)

Aaron Phangiso, who was till now finding it tough to squeeze into the Proteas team, is set to make his first international appearance in the upcoming fixture against West Indies at Nagpur.

The left arm spinner hasn’t played any international cricket since re-modelling his bowling action less than two weeks ago when South Africa face West Indies in Nagpur. The opportunity has come his way after the preferred all-rounder JP Duminy was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.

South Africa’s coach Russell Domingo has indicated that the selectors would have no choice but to play Phangiso in the absence of Duminy.

“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.

The Proteas were in 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.”

In contrary, this means South Africa’s bowlers, who gave away heaps of runs in the first two games, 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.