Proteas coach, Gary Kirsten is hoping for an improved record from the Castle Lager ODI squad in 2013, starting with the Momentum ODI series against New Zealand. The ODI squad, under the guidance of Kirsten has played 15 matches since October 2011, winning 60 percent of those fixtures, a record the squad is keen to improve.
Kirsten was speaking at Claremont Cricket Club in Cape Town, where the Proteas trained ahead of the first Momentum ODI at Boland Park in Paarl on Saturday.
“We would like to perform at a higher level than we have,” a bullish Kirsten said. “We have been ok, but we haven’t been outstanding yet and we know that we are capable of being a unit that can perform at one-day level. We have a great opportunity this year because we have potentially 23 ODI matches, so there will be a lot more emphasis on ODI cricket which I think everyone is excited about.”
Kirsten says he will be rotating his bowlers during the series, especially Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel who are coming off high workloads in the Test format. The squad’s immediate focus is a series victory against the Black Caps, however the long term view towards the ICC Champions Trophy in the UK in July remains a priority.
“It’s difficult to say,” Kirsten said when asked whether all the debut caps will play. “Obviously it is important for us to win the series but we will be rotating our bowling line-up so that will provide opportunities. We would also like to explore new talent as much as possible and I think this format of the game allows that, as does the T20 format.
“It’s important for us as we prepare for World Cups in the future and an important tournament in June that we have a good understanding of who our key players are in certain situations,” he added. “The next eight games for us; five against Pakistan and three against New Zealand play an important role in giving us a better indication of that.”