The Castle Lager Proteas’ ODI squad is out to finish the season on a high in the third Momentum ODI against India at SuperSport Park on Wednesday.
The match marks the end of a challenging season for the ODI unit, which has made encouraging improvements following their 4-1 loss to Sri Lanka in July. Since then, they have won the last seven of their 10 matches in an impressive run, but all-rounder Ryan McLaren, maintains the squad is far from a finished product.
“When you look back it wasn’t so long ago that we were struggling against New Zealand at home and Sri Lanka away,” he said in Centurion on Tuesday. “This group of players have come through a lot of tough times during the building phases. Although we have had success in the recent series that we have played against Pakistan and against India, there is still a lot of work in progress.”
The Proteas made their intentions clear early in the series with both bat and ball and have had a stranglehold on their visitors in both matches. They are on the verge of a 3-0 series win and will be going in with the same approach in the final match.
“ From the start of the series when we got together for the series against India we said that we wanted to set the tone early,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that we came to the games with a lot of intensity and energy. I think we did that in the first match in Johannesburg and more importantly we followed it up in Durban as well.”
McLaren is South Africa’s leading wicket-taker for 2013 with 45 scalps at an average of 23.77, but remains grounded about his contributions and place in the team. The return of Jacques Kallis hasn’t intimidated the former Grey College Head Boy, who says he is a Citi Golf compared to Kallis who is a Rolls Royce.
“I never take my position for granted in this team,” he said. “Yes, I have had a successful year and put in some good performances of late, but I’d still like to be more consistent.”
Persistent rainfall in the Centurion area forced the Proteas to train indoors, and a similar forecast has been predicted for Wednesday.