South Africa are lacking depth in their batting in the absence of quality all-rounders, an aspect that could affect the team’s chances in the World Cup, reckons former skipper Graeme Smith.
There was a time when South Africa boasted of world class all-rounders like Lance Klusener, Jacques Kallis and even a bowling all-rounder like Shaun Pollock but Temba Bavuma’s team doesn’t have a quality batter at No. 7.
“Where they fall short is, they don’t have a lot of depth in batting like some of the other teams have. Who is going to be that all-rounder for them at No. 7? Marco Jansen or someone else,” Smith said during an exclusive interview with PTI.
For South Africa to succeed, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj’s control and wicket-taking ability will go a long way, in case Bavuma wants to leave an impression as a leader.
“Whether they go with two spinners or not but Keshav Maharaj needs to have an outstanding tournament. Obviously, he has Tabraiz Shamsi on his wings but reliability of Maharaj is key to Temba as a captain,” said Smith, who scored nearly 7000 runs in ODIs.
The 42-year-old, who retired in 2014, is also hopeful that Kagiso Rabada will carry a lot on his shoulders in the absence of Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala due to injuries.
“Rabada, we all know how world class he is and we would like him to have an incredible World Cup tournament. Always carries a lot on his shoulders and you need a couple of key players to play well and then push through knock-out of the tournament and give yourself good chances back-to-back to hold that trophy.”