Ottis Gibson aims number one Test ranking for South Africa
Incoming head coach of South Africa Ottis Gibson stressed the importance to help the Proteas reclaim the pole position in the International Cricket Council Test rankings.
Gibson's immediate assignment will be a two match home Test series against Bangladesh and he will have to deal with an immediate crisis on the fast bowling department which is hampered by injuries to Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Chris Morris and youngster Lungi Ngidi.
Steyn is yet to recover from a fractured shoulder that he sustained last year during the away series in Australia while Philander and Morris are sidelined with back injuries. Ngidi, who had a promising start to his international career in the shortest format of the game is currently undergoing rehabilitation from a stress fracture on his back.
"We have four quality fast bowlers injured. That’s a problem straight away,” Gibson said at his first press conference as coach on Tuesday.
"You can’t really develop a team with that type of injury list. We have to take 20 wickets consistently to win tests. We need a group of fast bowlers ready to perform."
The injuries mean, South Africa are left with Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada as the frontline bowlers while the likes of Duane Olivier, Wayne Parnell and Andile Phehlukwayo will battle for the remaining two positions with Keshav Maharaj in the mix for the spin bowling option.
Despite the setback, Gibson believes South Africa have enough resources to attain the top position in the ranking following which he wants the Proteas to achieve their first ever World Cup in the 2019 edition.
"My philosophy over the next two years is taking the Proteas back to the top of the (test) pile first of all, then hopefully winning the (2019) World Cup,” he said.
"I‘m lucky in a sense, the Proteas have been to number one in the world on a few occasions and not very long ago they were number one in the world."
The two Tests against Bangladesh will be played in Potchefstroom and Bloemfontein between 28th September and 10th October following which both the teams will face each other in three ODIs and two T20Is.
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