News24 (South Africa) – Cape Town – He ceased several months ago to be the batting coach, but Neil McKenzie remains fairly close to the Proteas camp.

Summary

  • So it was educative hearing the stalwart former middle-order and then late-career opening batsman in Test matches for South Africa say – with some conviction, too – on television earlier this week that the national team still ideally want to reshape their Test XI to include an all-rounder in the fluid area roughly between No 7 and 8.
  • Although Dale Benkenstein has taken official charge of the batting department since Ottis Gibson’s installation as head coach, McKenzie still did some work with the SA batsmen during a summer which included those stirring Test series victories over both India and Australia.
  • As a result, he naturally retains some insight into the plans and strategies of the Gibson panel, and seemed to imply on the programme that a versatile customer being installed to the middle-order is a firm collective desire … possibly as soon as the next Test series, away to Sri Lanka in July?
  • For that reason, I would expect Wiaan Mulder and Chris Morris, especially, to stay part of the extended Test squad mix over the next few months at very least.
  • The Lions man currently sports a solitary ODI appearance against minnows Bangladesh, but Gibson did hint at times during the just-completed home Test programme that he was extremely close to a five-day call-up.


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