In Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth, De Villiers had to rely on JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien to fill the fifth bowler’s ration of overs and the pair were targeted by England’s powerful batting order. With Imran Tahir continuing to struggle, having more options gives De Villiers some flexibility and he utilised it at Centurion on Tuesday.
Publicly, De Villiers may claim he’s not worried about Tahir but after conceding 56 runs in eight overs on Tuesday, he’s aggregate runs conceded in the series is at 193 from 28 overs. He’s taken just the two wickets and has been blasted for 10 sixes.
De Villiers needed the extra option that Wiese provided, and it allowed him to use Behardien for two overs to make up the balance of Tahir’s quota.
“I don’t think the balance of the side was bad before,” the skipper said. “Dave brings a lot to the party. He’s got a great attitude and plays the game the right way.”
Going for 64 runs in 10 overs may not seem like anything special but on a batting friendly SuperSport Park pitch, at least Wiese gave De Villiers an idea of what he was trying to do and the captain was able to set fields accordingly.
Wiese’s dismissal of England captain Eoin Morgan was a just reward after a short period of building pressure.
He may not be a long-term answer, but at least there’s some direction for the selectors to follow by including him. The way forward for the Proteas in this series is to lean on their top-four batsmen to ensure big totals, and then provide De Villiers with more than just the four frontline bowlers and Duminy and Behardien.
The difference in having seven bowling options as opposed to six is vast, especially if one of those seven is struggling. Clearly England are lining up Tahir and the pressure he is feeling is manifesting itself in anxiety, which leads to him trying too hard.
The sight of Tahir almost doubling over and burying his head in his hands and then scratching his head after Joe Root hammered him for six on Tuesday made for painful viewing. He’s an emotional character, as his wicket celebrations show; but when it goes wrong for him, he falls apart.
At some point, De Villiers believes, Tahir will win them a match in this series. There are only two games left and both are critical affairs, so it will be a major boost for his confidence were that to happen tomorrow at the Wanderers.
Tuesday’s loss shouldn’t hit England’s self-belief too hard. Morgan pointed out that his side scored over 300 again – the ninth time they’ve done so since the World Cup – though they didn’t do enough at the end of their innings to lift the target beyond South Africa’s reach. - Cape TimesDavid Wiese’s inclusion for the third ODI improved the team and gave AB De Villiers a much-needed option with the ball.
Original source: Wiese gives AB more options