South Africa have won three of the four One-Day International series in 2018, including away victories in Sri Lanka and Australia, while their only defeat came against India in their own backyard. The Proteas are scheduled to play just 10 more ODIs before the World Cup and Zondi believes they are now almost certain about their team combination.
“We had a lot of questions that we answered in the Australian series,” said Zondi."It's a pity we had a couple of players who were injured with JP Duminy being the example. He played well in Sri Lanka and we would have loved to see him in the Australia series.
“We more or less know about the structure of our side‚ we just now need to finalise in the next two series and see if the guys are going to grab their opportunities.
"The guys must put up their hands and say this is my spot‚ I want to cement my spot and move on. I think we're more than 85% in terms of where we want to be in regards as a team and combinations.”
South Africa looked quite clinical in their 2-1 victory over Australia despite the absence of Hashim Amla and Duminy. Opener Reeza Hendricks did a decent job pairing up with Quinton de Kock but Zondi confirmed that South Africa will go back to the tried and tested pair of Amla and de Kock once the former returns.
“Before he got injured‚ Hashim was in good form and Quinton has also looked in reasonable form,” he added. "It's not like they were in bad form, but for players like them‚ it's a case of them being on the field playing and backing themselves.
"They're the best opening pair we have and we've tried everyone else. It's just been a case of testing the backup players, but I think we are clear with our opening pair. We just need to finalise the number three spot because the other batsmen have come along nicely. We don't have anything different when it comes to our opening options.”
South Africa are next scheduled to host Pakistan for three Tests (starting from December 26), five ODIs and three T20Is.
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First Published: November 20, 2018, 7:19 PM IST