Botha sees chance for youth
Johan Botha believes South Africa's one-off T20 against India provides a useful opportunity for some of their younger players.
Last Updated: 30/03/12 9:13am
South Africa's one-off Twenty20 international against India on Friday night may be short on context, but stand-in skipper Johan Botha believes it will be a useful opportunity for some of their younger players.
The Proteas have included two uncapped players in Dane Vilas and Farhaan Behardien, while fringe players such as Colin Ingram and Justin Ontong will get another chance to impress the selectors.
The only member of the South Africa team who took part in the Test series against New Zealand is Jacques Kallis, and his participation is only due to the fact that the match is being played in his honour.
"This gives us a chance to put in the young guys who have done well domestically," Botha said on Thursday.
"It's not a bad thing to have young faces in the team."
With the World Twenty20 taking place later this year, Botha pointed out that a stand-out performance from any individual could go a long way to booking his flight to Sri Lanka.
"You don't want to put too much pressure on a young player, but if one or two of them step up tomorrow, they will go a long way to making it into the final 15 man squad for Sri Lanka," said Botha.
Botha is filling in for AB de Villiers, who was rested after a long tour of New Zealand which saw him play in every game.
The off-spinner has prior experience of captaining South Africa's Twenty20 side, having filled the role until De Villiers' appointment last year.
"A couple of guys have said to me in the past to just trust my decision," he said.
"A lot of times guys are running all over the field and guys give you some information, and you often go with someone else, after which you think you shouldn't have.
"You just have to stay one step ahead of the game."
South Africa will be without strike bowlers Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, which will allow the likes of Wayne Parnell and Rusty Theron to showcase their talents.
"There's some world class players in our side sitting out, but credit to the selectors for putting in these young guys," Botha said.
"For a big game like this, for those guys it will be a great place to start against a world class Indian team."
The Proteas spinner said there would be much to take out of the clash, despite it being a one-off encounter.
"We've got a few games until the World Cup, so every T20 game is important and you can learn in every game," he added.
"They beat us a year-and-a-half ago at Moses Mabhida Stadium, so hopefully we can make it one-all and just play well for Jacques.
"He's been an awesome servant to the game and a legend for South African cricket."