Batsmen Keen To Impress In De Villiers' Absence
Although AB de Villiers' withdrawal from South Africa's Twenty20 International squad leaves the team short of experience, it does provide opportunities for other players to prove their worth.
The likes of Farhaan Behardien, David Miller and Justin Ontong are likely to be given their chance as Russell Domingo takes charge of his first matches since assuming control of the Twenty20 International team.
Behardien, who has played six Twenty20 Internationals for the Proteas including all five at the ICC World Twenty20 2012, is looking forward to the chance to impress in a series that bet365 make South Africa 1/4 to win with New Zealand 3/1 against.
"It's definitely an opportunity for the guys to showcase their talent and what they have learnt over the past few years," Behardien said.
"David Miller played a T20 County stint at Yorkshire and did really well, so he has learnt his trade a little bit more since his debut a few years ago.
"Faf (du Plessis) is in good form, even though it was in a Test match; he seems to be in a good space with his batting; he scored 65 in his last T20 innings against India in Sri Lanka.
"And myself, I’m there to assess the risk and to assess what the team needs going forward in the innings. David Miller and Justin Ontong are guys that have proven that they can hit the ball far, Faf has proven that he can hit the ball far as well.
"But without AB there, it is our opportunity to show Russell (Domingo) and Gary (Kirsten) that we can step it up in an International series and that there are resources in the country," he added.
One player who does boast plenty of international experience, with seven Tests, 60 One-Day Internationals and 16 T20 Internationals behind him is Robin Peterson.
He also has a working relationship with Domingo that goes back to Peterson's time in youth cricket with Eastern Province.
"Russell has done quite a bit behind the scenes, I don’t think it will be a big difference for him or for us," Peterson said.
"He has worked a lot with the younger players in the past as the SA A and Academy coach, so I don’t think it will be a massive issue. He had a good T20 record with the Warriors and he brings a lot of different fresh ideas to the table which is exciting for South African cricket."
The first of three Twenty20 Internationals is on Friday (21st December) in Durban.
© Cricket World 2012
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