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Thu Apr 24 23:39:14 SAST 2014

Proteas need to improve batting, says Ntini

Sapa | 04 September, 2012 11:430 Comments
Makhaya Ntini of the Warriors on the boundary during the MiWay T20 Challenge match between The New Age Impi and Chevrolet Warriors at Sahara Willowmoore Park on February 29, 2012 in Benoni
Image by: Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Former Proteas’ bowler Makhaya Ntini believes South Africa need to improve their batting line-up if they are to beat England in their final One Day International (ODI) in Nottingham on Wednesday.

“We can’t only depend on one person from a batting point of view,” Ntini said on Tuesday.

“Hashim Amla is the guy we look to and he has been outstanding with his performances.

“AB [De Villiers] has blamed the middle order for not coming up to be counted and he has included himself in that too.” 

Ntini, who took 266 wickets in 173 ODIs, said the Proteas would need to be sharp if they were to stand any chance of levelling the five-match series after they won the second ODI, before slumping to two successive defeats.

“It all comes to the position now that they’ve done well in the Test matches, but from my point of view, an England tour is always very long.

“I think they are at that stage now where they may be getting homesick.

“As someone who has been there and done it, there does come a time when you reach a stage where you can’t wait to finish and go home and freshen up again.” 

Ntini said he was encouraged by the way the South African side had progressed throughout the tour, but said the attack needed to gel as a unit against the English.

“From a bowling point of view, the consistency has not been there,” he said.

“We tend to rely on the front-line bowling attack and if they don’t get wickets, our whole bowling line-up collapses.

“If we get two wickets upfront in the first 15 overs, everything changes, so we need to have a different strategy when it comes to the bowling attack.

“When they are five wickets down, that’s the time when we need to be more aggressive to make sure that we don’t give away easy runs and make the batsmen work for their runs.” 

With the world number one ODI ranking up for grabs if they level the series, Ntini believes the toll of playing away from home for an extended period may affect the team ahead of the Trent Bridge contest, but said only the team could overcome those obstacles.

“All in all, England are playing at home, they are able to sleep in their own beds and we [South Africa] are living in a hotel, we are eating the same food all the time,” Ntini said.

“Those little things come into play and they show in the long run.

“There is so much we could dwell on, but the most important thing is that this is the team that is building towards a goal so we can’t moan because they have a goal and we will see where they are after six months or a year.” 

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