Photo: Michael Sherman
Photo: Michael Sherman
Proteas T20 batting coach Lance Klusener has warned the squad that the national team is not a finishing school and players will be expected to perform from ball one when they take on India in a month-long series on the subcontinent starting in September.
South Africa are scheduled to play three tests matches and three T20 international matches in the tour that will span into the latter part of October.
The Proteas will start with the shorter format of the game, which sides have often used to give new players a chance to gain international experience.
However, Klusener does not see T20I cricket that way and told the squad that being selected to play for your country comes with a certain weight of expectation.
“I am not into these things of saying that we are young‚ rebuilding or we are these and that because the national team is not a finishing school‚” he said, according to Times Live.
“We need to win games because the public demands that. I just hate this thing of saying‚ ‘We are learning‚ we are developing’‚ and‚ ‘Give us a chance’. We must hit the ground running.
“There is quality in this team and I don’t see the point of hiding behind the sayings that we have gaps to fill and we are growing because I just think that it is an excuse to fail.”
Klusener acknowledged that it is impossible to win every game and that would never be an expectation he placed on the side. However, when they do lose Klusener said he wants them to go down fighting.
“We are going to play against some good teams and it is fine to lose‚ but what is important is how you lose,” he said.
“The way we have been losing hasn’t been great‚ it is fine to be beaten by a decent team on any given day.”
Klusener is currently only with the squad as a consulting coach on a temporary basis for the three T20I matches against India, but he indicated he would be very interested in playing a larger role in the backroom staff of the Proteas.
“I will chat with Corrie [Van Zyl] when we arrive in India but currently I have other engagements until February. But when your national team calls‚ it calls and there is nothing that can stand in the way of that,” he said.
“We will chat and see how it goes and it will be wonderful to be involved going forward.”