Kirsten pleased with tough work-out
Gary Kirsten believes South Africa showed encouraging signs during their warm-up tie that should put them in good stead for the tournament
Gary Kirsten is pleased with his team's performance in the warm-up match.
South Africa coach Gary Kirsten was happy with the way his players coped under pressure in Monday’s ICC World Twenty20 warm-up victory over New Zealand in Colombo.
Black Caps skipper Ross Taylor (75) threatened to overhaul South Africa’s imposing total of 186-6 but once the right-hander was out their challenge fell away, finishing on 177-8.
Kirsten said “I’m glad we had a close game and we had to defend a score, it worked out really well from that perspective.”
“I think our execution was fairly good throughout the game, (Ross) Taylor came in and played a good knock, for us it’s about being clearer in those situations about what each bowler is looking to do, and giving himself the best chance to set that up right.”
Kirsten was encouraged by experimental opening pair Faf du Plessis and Richard Levi, who put together a 47-run first-wicket stand in 32 balls on their way to 24 apiece.
“Faf (du Plessis) has done well in the IPL batting at the top of the order, so we wanted to give ourselves some options at the top,” explained Kirsten. “He also wanted to get in batting a little bit, he is a great player and he hasn’t had much chance to bat over the last month or so. He played nicely so I was pleased with that.”
“They (the openers) played the spin well. That is something that we worked a lot on. We had four overs of spin up front in the powerplay and that’s going to be important in this tournament. Each guy has done a lot of thinking of how he wants to play spin and there were some good signs.”
South Africa’s ICC World T20 programme gets underway on Thursday against Zimbabwe in Hambantota.