South Africans always start global cricket tournaments as one of the favourite. To a certain stage they look like going all the way. But at business stage they choke. They have so far won only one global tournament the Champions trophy at Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The team that produced players like Jack Kallis, Alan Donald, AB de Villiers has not yet won ICC ODI world cup or T20International trophy. Many protean players still perform exceptionally well in T20 franchise but for reasons best known to them they cannot go all the way for winning global tournaments. In 2019 ICC world Cup, they lost to Bangladesh in the opening match and could not proceed into the knock out stage. CSA has just announced the 15 men balanced squad having some talented batsmen, penetrative pace bowlers and more than useful wicket taking spinners. The team is now in Sri Lanka just completing ODI series. Some players would play for their respective IPL Franchise starting at UAE soon.
South Africa have been placed in Group 1 in the Super 12 stage along with England, Australia, West Indies and two qualifiers. The rainbow nation will start their campaign against Australia in Abu Dhabi on October 23.
Temba Bavuma will lead the Proteas in the seventh edition of the multi-team tournament. It will be his first major assignment since his permanent appointment as South African captain earlier this year.
CSA has picked three spinners for the mega event, including Keshav Maharaj, who hasn’t yet made his T20I debut for South Africa. He has so far played 36 Tests and 14 ODIs. However, the left-arm spinner has appeared in 104 T20s, where he has taken 83 wickets at a strike rate of 26 and an economy of 6.62.
Bjorn Fortuin and Tabraiz Shamsi are the other two spinners in the final 15. But, the experienced trio of Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir and Chris Morris was not considered for s election.
Expressing great optimism about the prospect of the team Victor Mpitsnag CSA convenor of s electors said,
“We are confident that we have a well-balanced and well thought out World Cup squad, with reserve players that are more than capable and up to the job if called up for it. The team has blossomed well under the leadership of Temba Bavuma, and we look forward to seeing his return to the international stage once he is fully recovered from injury.”
“On behalf of the National S election Panel, I would like to wish Temba and coach Mark Boucher all of the very best as the team continues to finalise its preparation in Sri Lanka and as Temba looks to make a full recovery from his injury,”
South Africa Squad:
Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, WIaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.
Travelling Reserves: George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Lizaad Williams.
Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen and David Miller are more than capable for taking any attack apart on their day. The team may still miss Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris for their extensive international experience. We do not understand why Mr 360 degree AB de Villiers is no longer playing for South Africa . He is still active in IPL.
Nortje, Rabda and Ngidi would extract any pace or bounce that may be available in the wickets. Keshav Maharaj and Tabriz Shamsi would exploit if the wickets assist spin.
World cricket would wait and watch whether Proteas can brush off their choker tag and go all the way . The task would not be easy as they have defending Champions West Indies and strong England in the group. Even Australia can not also be dismissed all together.
BDST: 1144 HRS, SEP 10, 2021