As the title of this article says, we should only start criticising and worrying about his form and place in the squad if Andile Phehlukwayo gets absolutely no wickets in this ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Comments about dropping him have been doing a slight round during the first ODI against Sri Lanka that ended in a win for South Africa by 8 wickets. His performance during the T20 series was not too bad, while he was a slight bit expensive in the second game. As a sporting public, we do tend to forget that while our sports heroes are meant to be on top of their game in every match, it simply is not possible to be on golden form every time. Hashim Amla took a slight dip in form a couple of weeks ago at the near end of the ODI series against Australia continuing into the test series against Sri Lanka, but is now back in the swing and groove of his batting.
It is also not a bad idea to mention that Phehlukwayo has come out a nasty groin injury from the first Dolphins game during the T20 Challenge in 2016 against the Warriors, so he is naturally a little bit rusty and out of touch – which should be expected. He has had some domestic 4-day games as well as the recent T20 series. Form is not something that is found in a day. Only if he does not take any wickets in this ODI series, does not score any runs due to him going out cheaply, and leaks runs at any time during his bowling, then we should be worried about his form. However, Phehlukwayo is still very young, only 20, so this slight lack of form is to be expected, just like how we can expect fellow paceman Kagiso Rabada, as we have seen before, to be a little bit off their game. They are still very young, and while they have had good games and good series, inconsistency is expected. Rabada did say, when asked about Amla’s form by the media, that he is not a robot and that he knows what needs to be done in order to get back to form. The very same can be said about Phehlukwayo.