London: India's premier off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin may be back in the mix after being dropped in the first two games and South Africa batting coach Neil McKenzie feels that the tweaker would be a preferred choice against his team.
With three left-handers in Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy and David Miller in the top six, it is imperative that Ashwin who can turn the ball away, would get a look in.
"When it comes to strategy, Ashwin against left-handers should be preferred choice but I think there's quality at both ends and you need two good performances at the end of the day," McKenzie said after his team's optional net session at the indoor stadium of Lord's ground.
However, McKenzie was quick to remind that South Africa had a good record against the Indian spinners during that high-scoring ODI series in 2015.
"I think they (Ashwin and Jadeja) have all had good records against us specially in Test matches but we will take confidence from the fact that we won the ODI series in India back in 2015. Both teams have got some serious options," said the former right-handed batsman.
He put it nicely when asked about what a high-stakes virtual quarter-final mean to him.
"If India lose, it's the defending champions out of the tournament and if it's South Africa, then No 1 side in the world goes out and we have played some consistent cricket. It's two fantastic sides at a great venue playing a quarter final," he aptly put it.
Admitting that both sides should have closed in on their respective second games, the coach cautioned the opposition not to judge them on basis of one bad match.
"Both sides realise that they didn't take advantage of the situation they were in and would like to capitalise on chances having played a lot with and against each other. But one performance doesn't make us an average side. We have had some great performances."
He feels that soft dismissals against Pakistan cost them dearly.
"We had a few soft dismissals. We pride on our top six batsmen to get hundreds. You don't see Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla getting out in that fashion," McKenzie said.
He complimented Sri Lanka for throwing the group open with a fantastic run chase.
"It was one helluva chase by Sri Lanka after India put in a big total. Sri Lanka has opened up the group and there's a lot to play for in the last two matches."...