Could be a force to be reckoned with
|Matches: 30 Won: 18 Lost: 12 Tied: 0 No Result: 0|
South Africa used to be an intimidating force in international cricket, but that is no longer the case. A significant number of South African cricketers have recently retired, and it would be harsh to expect the current batch of players to deliver big in the upcoming event. It was evident from the squad announcement that the Proteas focused on creating a well-balanced team. Temba Bavuma will captain a young side in the UAE – he is expected to recover from a thumb injury in time for the tournament – that also featured Keshav Maharaj, the left-arm spinner who is yet to play a T20I. Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller add experience to the batting line-up, where Miller is a player who can finish the game from any situation. And with Justin Sammons and JP Duminy as specialist consultants for the mega event, the Proteas will be in search of their first T20 World Cup title, their best performance being a fourth-place finish back in 2014.
The team, more or less, have its bowling department balanced and have ticked the boxes required for the UAE conditions. South Africa are well stocked in the spin department with Maharaj accompanied by Tabraiz Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin as specialist spinners, while boasting a fearsome fast-bowling line-up, featuring Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje. With the current no. 1 T20 bowler Shamsi leading the pack for spinners, South Africans have made sure to cover the basics required to fully utilise the playing conditions and may have shifted the odds in their favour.
The Proteas are still testing a new-look middle order. Under coach Mark Boucher, South Africa's results have also been inconsistent. Dwaine Pretorius, who has not played since fracturing a rib against Pakistan in February this year, has been included.
A MAN IN FORM
South Africa opener Quinton de Kock has been in his richest vein of form in T20Is lately. In the 10 matches that he played this year, De Kock scored a total of 455 runs at an average of 56.87. He also smashed five of his 11 fifties in the past year.
SURPRISE INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS
The squad did not feature all-rounder Chris Morris, former captain Faf du Plessis, and veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir. Tahir and du Plessis, in particular, had retired from other formats of the game, with one eye on playing in the upcoming World Cup. Du Plessis, the 37-year-old former captain, who retired from Tests in February, specifically named the upcoming global tournament as one of his goals. However, he has not played a white-ball match for South Africa since December last year and has not been part of any of their recent squads either. Similarly, Tahir, who retired from ODIs after the 2019 World Cup, remained available for T20Is.
Temba Bavuma (c), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, W Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen
George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lizaad Williams