SA bank on fresh faces in T20Is

Last Updated 17 February 2018, 14:25 IST

Stand-in T20 skipper J P Duminy said the 1-5 ODI series loss was a reality check for South Africa and the hosts would rely on fresh faces and an "aggressive mindset" in the new format to counter rampaging India in the three-match T20I series.

After being outclassed in one-dayers, South Africa have completely revamped the T20I squad with as many as six new players in the 14-man side which will face India in the T20I series starting with the first game in Johannesburg on Sunday.

"I think the new faces will help. It is something that we spoke about this morning that we will feed off the freshness of new faces around. The format is different. It is a quicker and more aggressive format. And it will naturally bring out the best in us," said Duminy.

"I am excited to be able to lead. I think leadership naturally brings out the best in me and I enjoy the experience of leading people. I am quite excited by it," he added.

Talking about the ODI series loss, Duminy said: "Yes, it has been a dismal one-day series for us where India have outplayed us. That's something that we will have to take on the chin and realise that we are far from a finished article going into the World Cup a year from now.

"I think it's a great reality check for us. It is about each and every player seeing themselves in the mirror and how they can improve, to try and stake a claim for that 15-man squad in a year's time," he said.

Duminy cited the example of the rain-shortened Pink ODI and said that the change in format will help South Africa counter India better.

"If I look at Pink Day's shortened game, the platform was set for almost T20 style of play. I think that type of mindset brought out the best in us. So I am quite excited to see how we go about it in terms of this format now," said Duminy.

"Irrespective of who we come up against, I still believe that with new faces around plus guys who have been in the ODI series, it is a squad that can definitely win the series. So the aim is to always compete and win the series, no matter who we come up against."

South Africa will also have to contend with India's in-form top-order, particularly Virat Kohli who is in the form of his life, having smashed the 500-run barrier in an ODI bilateral series. Shikhar Dhawan also looked in good nick, while Rohit Sharma can never be ignored in limited-overs cricket.

Duminy opined early wickets will be the key in countering the Indian top-order.

(Published 17 February 2018, 13:44 IST)

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