SA ‘A’ side to target learning opportunities


The mixture of youth and experience in the South Africa 'A' side is ideal to foster an environment where players can learn from each other.

The side will be lead by domestic first class veteran Stephen cook and includes Proteas bowler Vernon Philander, who is returning from injury.

Cook will captain the side after making a promising debut for South Africa in the Test series against England, earlier this year.

The opener spoke to the press after a training camp in Pretoria, saying: "It's a great squad, we've got a lovely balance,

"These guys are all fantastic players in their own right, and I am sure we will all learn from one another."

The Highveld Lions man is keen to learn from coach, Malibongwe Maketa, who comes from the Warriors set up: "It's good to get fresh ideas, some fresh thinking from someone who coaches against you and analyses you in a different way to what your coach does,

"Everyone can learn from each other and that makes for a healthy set-up."

The son of former South Africa captain, Jimmy Cook, is looking forward to playing with a motivated group: "Guys here are putting up their hands to say, 'Hey I want to make that Proteas side in whatever format is required,' the guys are all up for it, they have all trained fantastically, our work ethic has been great."

Cook praised the fitness levels of the group, many of whom have been enjoying time off after the end of the domestic season: "Everyone is fit. In previous years, I have seen criticism levelled that the guys arrive unfit. This year, guys are all in tip-top shape and rearing to go which shows a good attitude,

"That's the most important thing. If you can control your attitude, that takes care of a lot of the performance."

Fast bowler Philander has acknowledge his role in the team is two-fold, he is there to regain form and fitness, but also to impart knowledge to the younger bowlers, the quick said: "As much as it's for me to get back, it's also to share my knowledge with these guys out here,

"As long as I can help the younger ones coming through as well, I think I've played my part in South African cricket."

The 'A' side will visit Zimbabwe before heading off to Australia for a mcok Test series against Australia 'A' and a triangular One Day series also involving India's 'A' squad.