Cape Town – Proteas skipper AB de Villiers has praised the development and confidence of the young guns coming through in the one-day international (ODI) squad.
Although the Proteas failed to win the second one day international against New Zealand, De Villiers took some positives by singling out the performance of Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo.
Late cameos from Pretorius (50 off 27) and Phehlukwayo (29* off 34) got South Africa close to their 290 target, and saw the Proteas fall just six runs short of victory.
Pretorius, 27, was the standout performer for the tourists hitting his maiden half-century and taking 2/40 in his 10 overs.
Pretorius also had the least preparation leading up to the second ODI, after arriving earlier this week following the birth of his son.
Phehlukwayo on the other hand already impressed with the bat following his heroics in the first ODI in Auckland, where he led the Proteas to a four-wicket victory last week.
The 20-year-old all-rounder did not see his team over the line this time around, but showed some fight towards the end.
The Proteas skipper says that he is impressed with the character shown by the young players and emphasises that the future of South African cricket is bright.
“The youngsters played really well at the end and they showed a lot of promise towards the end,” De Villiers told reporters after the match on Wednesday.
“It’s great to see them play with confidence and with a bit of freedom.
“I think it tells a story about our culture within the team.
“The guys have the freedom to watch the ball and enjoy the cricket.
“They are fully backed by all the senior players and the management, so they come in and feel confident and free to do whatever they want and express their talents.
“So I was pretty impressed with some of the younger guys today, I thought Dwaine (Pretorius) bowled really well for us.
“I think the depth looks really good and the future looks bright.”
The third ODI gets underway on Saturday, February 25 (03:00 SA time).