Pakistan series good for developing depth

The Proteas wrapped up the season with an ODI series win over Pakistan in Benoni on Sunday.

South African cricket coach Gary Kirsten. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Proteas wrapped up their season with an ODI series win over Pakistan in Benoni on Sunday.

Their focus now moves to the Champion's Trophy which will be held in England in June.

Proteas coach Gary Kirsten said the series with Pakistan has been great for developing more depth in the squad, with three players making major impressions.

"Players who haven't played a lot of one day cricket performed well for us. Farhaan Behardien has played well, David Miller has come in for two games and made an impact and Ryan McLaren has been great for two series now".

McLaren took three wickets during Sunday's match, proving he is a good all round replacement for Jacques Kallis.

This should be encouraging for Kirsten because having a sixth bowler in the line-up has proven to be crucial for the Proteas.

"We don't have Jacques Kallis in one day cricket anymore and because we've had him for 20 years, it's been important for us to look for a new guy to step into that place."

"He proved that he's got the skills that are required in the bowling department. He hasn't done much on the batting side, but we're confident that he can do the job if required," Kirsten added.

South Africa had to make do without Kallis for the duration of the one day series, as Protea management looked to lengthen the career of South Africa's greatest all-rounder.

Kirsten indicated that while Kallis will take part in the major international tournaments, his one day international career outside of knockout cricket has essentially come to an end.

"I think what we've realised with Jacques is that he's not going to play one day cricket for us anymore because we value him in test matches so much. But we reserve the right every now and again to use him as a wildcard in major tournaments".