New Delhi: Fielding three spinners has paid rich dividends for South Africa in their World Cup opening match but bowling coach Vincent Barnes on Sunday said that his side will not use the same strategy all the time and bowling combination will depend on playing conditions.
"Obviously we got to look at the conditions in the matches coming up. We have got a couple of day matches, obviously morning and freshness of wicket do come into play," he said after the team training session here.
"Going forward, obviously it (playing three spinners) will be an option but that does not mean it would be the only option. We have one in Mohali which has a little more bounce. Will look at the conditions. I can't say that Peterson, Imran (Tahir) or Johan Botha ... it's about getting the best of type for the conditions and look at the balance of the side," Barnes said.
South Africa opted for three spinners in the first match against West Indies at Ferozeshah Kotla where leg-spinner Imran Tahir took four for 41 while Botha claimed two for 48 to help South Africa restrict their opponents to a modest total of 222 before winning the encounter by seven wickets. Robin Peterson was wicketless.
Asked about any strategy for bowling at the death, Barnes said, "The pitches in the series against India back home were a bit two-paced, little up and low. We did not get the yorkers straightaway. We sort of figured out that we bowled good lengths to be more effective.
"In the end, we did not use the yorker lot more than we did. We practice as much as we can before coming to India. We are quite confident," he said.
On whether Tsotsobe will play on Monday, Barnes did not give a direct reply but said the fast bowler will get his chance in the tournament.
"His role remains the same it was before. He is a very skillful bowler, the big advantage is that he is tall, gets good bounce. It's unfortunate that he sat out in the last game, he is one of our best bowlers in the past six months. He's come through nicely to one-day cricket. It's just a pity that we had to keep somebody out and play three spinners."
Peterson, on his part, said South Africa's earlier mindset not to use more spinners in a game has changed now.
"I quite don't know why they did not play more spinners, probably they just relied only on pacers. The mindset has changed now. All the guys are excited about it and there are spinners at home who can do a job. Now we have three quality spinners who can perform at this level and they are confident enough to play at this level," he said.
"Obviously when you come to the subcontinent, the captain looks at you to be the attacking option. But we have got three spinners now, in the past we only had one. Now they can use the spinners on short bursts, more attackingly," he added.
Peterson, however refused to single out who among the three of them is the number one spinner in the side.
"I don't think we have spinner number one, two or three. We all got different roles to perform. Whichever spinner is selected is selected for particular reason and gameplan. So I have not seen it as number one or two. It's a case of all three of us play well together," said the 31-year-old.
Peterson admitted that it was a challenge to bowl against the quality batsmen on sub-continental tracks, especially against the Indians.
"Wish I was born in India. It's a dream to play in India. In the subcontinent, you have the best conditions for your bowling. It's a big challenge to bowl in South Africa. Here we can become more than an attacking option. All three spinners in the squad will love it."
"It's a challenge in the sub-continent, especially against the Indian batsmen who play spin best. To come up against them and really perform, you know where you are in terms of your own level. We have done well in the past and there is no reason why we can't do it again. We just got to keep things simple against the Indians. They are human beings too and make mistakes," he said.
Asked about Tahir, Peterson said, "Imran and I have come a long way, played against him in under-19 cricket. Imran and I get along very well. He knows his game, I give whatever international experience I can share but he knows what he has to do, he's a class act."