Asked if the left-arm swing bowler can recapture that devastating late swing that made him such a factor for South Africa even before he reached his 20th birthday, Ontong said Parnell unfortunately did not get enough game time on overseas tours the past few years, which compromised his form.
“It is about finding rhythm and gaining confidence. If that returns, he can be a (massive factor),” Ontong explained.
Parnell has taken 110 international wickets in 87 games.
An improvement in consistency and strike-rate could see the all-rounder become a more regular choice for South Africa in all three formats.
Ontong said the fact that he might work with Charl Langeveldt and also regularly feature for the Cape Cobras in the domestic arena, can be advantageous for the evolvement of Parnell.
Beuran Hendricks, a former South African bowler at the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, is expected to take a step forward on the SA A-tour.
Ontong said he trained with Hendricks the past few weeks, and he was impressed with his focus and his high standards and aims.
Dane Piedt, a former South African bowler who captured eight for 152 on test debut, is another who will be unleashed on the SA A tour.
“Dane needs to reclaim his confidence. If he gets wickets on this India A tour, it will be such a boost to his self-belief,” said Ontong.
Both Hendricks and Piedt were victims of potentially crippling injuries in the 2014/2015-season and needed time to reassert themselves in the first-class arena.
Ontong said Dane Paterson could be a factor in India. He bowls well with the old ball, and can even achieve reverse swing.
Paterson was the Cape Cobras’ leading wicket-taker in the 2014/2015-season, removing 42 scalps in the Sunfoil Series. He also claied four for 33 in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge final.
The fact that South Africa is resting some of the leading bowlers like Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander (in One Day Internationals) could open a door for Paterson if he performs admirable on the SA A tour in India, Ontong explained.
Paterson is one of the fittest Cape Cobras players around, and a factor that contributes richly to his wickets is that he can still operate at full tilt in his final spells of a day, said Ontong.