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Series and History On The Line for Proteas

On Thursday the Proteas will be taking on India in their fourth match of the current ODI series, which the South Africans are leading 2-1 and Geoff Wakefield has a look ahead to the match and some other interesting developments that could see the boys make history. Give him a follow on Twitter for cricketing news and more.

What do you do with a middle order that has twice in three games misfired and now will be missing one of its lynchpins for games four and five?

That is a question that Russell Domingo and his brains trust will desperately be trying to answer before the Proteas enter the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Thursday.

The experiment of David Miller as an opener, to help him get into form with a pace that he is comfortable dealing with, has tactical merit and should be stuck with for the next couple of games but no more.

His elevation up the order has skewed things lower down though. South Africa is looking a little light on batting from number six through to eight. This is even more the case thanks to the withdrawal of JP Duminy.

Make no mistake, the loss of JP is massive. Not only has South Africa lost one of their more dependable middle overs batsmen but the impact on the balance of the side is immeasurable. Does that mean Farhaan Behardien will now bowl a full complement of overs? Let’s hope not. As a batter the Unlimited Titan has proved to have found his niche but his dibbly-dobblers do not warrant getting ten overs.

The good thing to come out of the game three victory was of course a series lead but also the pleasant return to form of Quinton de Kock with the bat and the attack pulling the fat from the fire so to speak to squeeze the life out of India’s very gettable chase.

With Duminy out and Dean Elgar no providing cover it is feasible that the Test Opener’s left arm spinners would be a like for like substitute in the side while providing strength down the order but how tough will that be on Khaya Zondo, the squad’s designated reserve batsman? If the team preferred to go the all-rounder route surely Chris Morris should get the call ahead of Elgar?

While there should be a feel good factor in the squad at the moment, one hopes that that does not mask the troubling questions that need to be answered before the 1st ball in Chennai is bowled.

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