CLOSER: Coach Ottis Gibson. Photo: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has challenged the newcomers in his T20I squad to show him what they’ve got in Friday night’s first match against Pakistan at Newlands (6 pm). 

Having won the Test series 3-0 against the visitors, the Proteas also wrapped up the ODI series 3-2 with a seven-wicket win at 
Newlands on Wednesday.

With those two results in the bag, South Africa will go all out to earn a tour whitewash.

And while confidence is high in the squad at the moment, Gibson is confident that the rookies in the T20 squad can keep up the good work done until now.

The Proteas coach explains: “It [the T20 series] is an opportunity to see [some more] players. 

“[Wiaan] Mulder is in the T20 squad for the first time, [Lutho] Sipamla is in the squad for the first time and Gihann Cloete had a very good MSL. 
“It’s an opportunity for those guys to put performances on the board and give the selectors something to think about when discussing those names.”

Mulder and Sipamla are uncapped at T20 level, while Cloete has represented South Africa in one T20I.

And while Gibson is experimenting with his squad, he knows how important it is to bag wins.

And series wins.

That’s why winning the three-match 20-over series is as important as any other.

The coach explains: “Every series win is important – every series win is massively important for our confidence going forward.

“The thing about our team is that we’re not reliant on one person to perform – we perform across the board.

“That’s all you can ask for really.” 

With the World Cup in mind, the West Indian is leaving no stone unturned in finding the perfect squad for the global showpiece. 

He adds: “History tells us that the World Cup is won by a squad and not a team – obviously you will have 11 guys, but you need your bench to be as strong and capable as the first 11.

“You want to have options to change your team depending on the opposition and the conditions.

“We’ve been trying to build a squad over the last 12 months and we’re getting closer.”

PROTEAS: Faf du Plessis (captain), Gihahn Cloete, Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Rassie van der Dussen. 

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