South Africa Squad: Cricket South Africa has announced its 15-member contingent, who will be playing the upcoming ICC World Cup, held in England and Wales.
South Africa, who has been 4-time semi-finalists in the World Cup, hasn’t been successful in clinching the coveted title till date. They have been, indeed one of the most dreaded team always, but they haven’t been able to make it to the finals. Can this team break that jinx and turn their fortunes? We will have to find it out.
The Proteas, who are currently ranked at No. 4 in the ICC team rankings, will begin their tournament on 30th May. They take on England in the first match of this World Cup.
The team, which is led by Faf du Plessis, has a combination of experienced and the young raw talent in their squad. Almost half of the squad (7/15) have represented South Africa in the World Cup and they will be quite crucial for the team. With experienced players like Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy will take on the batting onus. A lot will rest on Imran Tahir & Dale Steyn to lead their bowling department from the front. Despite the inconsistent form of a few experienced campaigners, the selectors have entrusted their faith on them and have included them in the squad.
What’s good for South Africa is that they have a depth of options for pace bowling. While it will be led by Dale Steyn, bowlers like Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Dwaine Pretorius and Anrich Nortje will add the required strength to their pace attack. Any combination from this set of pace bowlers can be lethal for the opposition team, and South Africa is in a comfortable zone there.
NO CHRIS MORRIS, REEZA HENDRICKS
However, what came as a surprise was the omission of Chris Morris from the team, considering his current form in the ongoing IPL. Morris has great temperament when it comes to death-bowling and could’ve been a vital option for the team in the time of need. The selectors went for Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo. It is, however, clear that only either of them will feature in any game, but not together. Reeza Hendricks has also been sidelined for the mega event. The 29-year-old has been a regular member of the ODI team but didn’t make the cut to the World Cup squad.
QUINTON DE KOCK THE KEY
One area of concern for the Proteas is the wicket-keeper slot. Surprisingly, there is no backup wicketkeeper selected in the squad, and all eyes will be on David Miller, just in case if Quinton de Kock has to stay out of action. De Kock in the year 2019 averages 58.62 & his strike-rate is an impressive 111.13. In England, the keeper-batsman averages a healthy 41 in 6 games.
Rassie van der Dussen, who is just 8 ODIs old was selected over Reeza Hendricks, as the former has an average of 88.25 in his 8 innings. The 30-year old has shown all signs of being dangerous with the bat, which is why he made the cut to the team. Even Aiden Markram, who is also their test opener has been selected in the squad.
Imran Tahir will lead their spin attack while the left-handed Tabraiz Shamsi will be the second choice spinner.
Altogether, the current team looks poised to take on any opposition in this edition of the World Cup. However, even if they start off the tournament as one of the favourites to win, their history doesn’t really favour them. They are infamously known as the “Chokers”, as they couldn’t move past the semi-final mark. This team, however, will be hoping to change that notion.
SOUTH AFRICA SQUAD
Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, David Miller, JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi.
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