Abu Dhabi: South Africa coach Ray Jennings wants his pace bowlers to keep the intensity going and to pitch the ball in the ‘right areas’ in the Under-19 World Cup, which gets under way here on Friday.
The U-19 World Cup will definitely be a test for his young side, but Jennings is banking on their allround abilities to get the desired result. “Our side is a very all-round side and we have got a strong group of South Africans here. There are some big guys who are physically strong. We have to bat and bowl deep. Hopefully on the day, we can come up with some good performances,” said Jennings, who had a long stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore as coach in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Speaking on the eve of their second warm-up game on Wednesday, Jennings said: “India should be No.1 rated but World Cup is one game in the day. There are a lot of other sides who are capable of playing very good cricket on the day. Who knows if India meets those players or the team along the way, they might be surprised.”
South Africa last played in a competitive tournament way back in September last year at the Quadrangular Series in Visakhapatnam, where they finished runner-up.
However, there are six more players who have been included to that squad and they clearly lack experience. Few weeks of cricket and a short camp is all that Jennings and his team could manage before flying down here.
South Africa has always had a strong pace attack and this team is no different, revealed Jennings. “Our pacers will be the key. We have a good pace attack and there are some big guys who can bowl at 140 kmph whenever they want. On the day, they can deliver the goods. These wickets are very slow and don’t have much assistance for fast bowling but we will bank on our strengths.”