IN FORM: Andile Phehlukwayo has been firing on all cylinders

They say it’s bad to put all your eggs in one basket.

But it’s also unwise to plan and not stick to the plot.

So what do you do when you have loads of options?

That’s the dilemma that Proteas boss Ottis Gibson is sitting with after Wednesday’s ODI series clincher over Pakistan.

Ahead of the series, all the talk was about how South Africa would be using this contest to get a final look at players hoping to make the World Cup squad for May.


It was quite an intensive search. For the first two matches, there was one squad and for the next three there was some chopping and changing. And then one more call-up for the fifth clash. That’s a lot of options.

But then it all seemed to click at Newlands. All of a sudden, there were three allrounders in the team.

Now the question is whether this will be the way forward.

For a man looking to give his team some balance, allrounders are an attractive option for Gibson.

And three at a time sommer.

Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius and fit-again Wiaan Mulder all made the XI for the decider and did a couple of things for Gibson.

The trio gave skipper Faf du Plessis an extraordinary six bowling options.

CALLED UP: Wiaan Mulder is back in the SA mix. Photo: BACKPAGEPIX

And on the day, it worked pretty well to give him more flexibility to use the likes of star operators Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir.

Of course, the three young allrounders will tell you that they are star bowlers in their own right, but these guys’ true strength lies in their batting, according to coach Gibson.

After sacrificing David Miller in the middle order, though, Gibson didn’t get the chance to see how the kids would do in this crunch match.

Up front, the top-order guys came off, which is exactly what they should be doing.

What I’m saying is that the three allrounders theory has not been properly tested and so we will have to wait until the ODI series against Sri Lanka to see that happen.

But the potential is there and we saw what Phehlukwayo did to Pakistan in the second ODI... he cost them a captain.

VERSATILE: Dwaine Pretorius is a real handful.Photo: BACKPAGEPIX

Mulder is bang in form - that’s why they called him up at short notice for the final game - after a mammoth 146 for the Lions.

Pretorius has been consistent.

Now here is the warning when it comes to allrounders in SA. They’ve been romanticised over the years as a saviour when our bowlers and batsman fail. Think Lance Klusener. But you still going to need an Allan Donald to get some wickets too and you have to calm him down when it matters.

But Gibson will have to be careful when looking to strike balance in his selection.

We still need specialists who have to do their jobs or even three allrounders will seem like we are short a bowler or batsman.

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