Proteas T20 World Cup Squad Review

By

14 September 2021

On Thursday, Cricket South Africa named their 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup, which included three travelling reserves to provide support and cover. The Proteas will not have the experience of T20 ‘specialists’ Faf du Plessis, Chris Morris and Imran Tahir to call upon at next month’s showpiece in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Bet Central takes a closer look at the players who have made the 15-man squad.

Temba Bavuma (Captain)

Batting Stats: Matches 16 Runs 410 Average 27.30 Strike Rate 126.90 Highest Score 72                 

It came as a huge surprise when Temba Bavuma was named the Proteas’ limited-overs captain. He is still yet to cement his place in both the ODI and T20I teams even though he is the captain.

Bavuma is currently unavailable for the Sri Lanka series due to injury which is not good news as the series would have been a great way for him to find some form heading into the World Cup. The Proteas will need their captain’s international experience and leadership if they are to have any chance of winning the T20 World Cup.

Keshav Maharaj

Bowling Stats: Matches 2 Wickets 2 Average 14.50 Economy Rate 4.70 Strike Rate 18.50

This was a surprising selection as Keshav Maharaj did not have a T20I cap before the squad was announced. Maharaj has done very well in the 14 ODIs he has played for the Proteas, taking 19 wickets at an economy rate of 4.65 which could be one of the reasons for his selection.

Another reason could be his leadership as he is currently captaining Mark Boucher’s side in the T20I series against Sri Lanka and has done very well in filling Bavuma’s shoes.

Quinton de Kock

Batting Stats: Matches 56 Runs 1699 Average 33.97 Strike Rate 136.68 Highest Score 79                

Quinton de Kock is the Proteas’ only world-class batsman which is very worrying going into a World Cup in the UAE. He has shown on many occasions how valuable he is to the side. His experience and quality will be pivotal if the Proteas are going to do well in the UAE.

Bjorn Fortuin

Bowling Stats: Bowling Stats: Matches 12 Wickets 12 Average 20.75 Economy Rate 6.72 Strike Rate 18.50            

Considering the fact the George Linde has rarely missed a T20I match since his debut, his omission came as a huge shock. I don’t know whether Maharaj’s and Fortuin’s inclusion at Linde’s expense is owed to a transformation numbers game but that does not mean that Fortuin is not a quality cricketer.

Like Maharaj, Fortuin has not been given a run of games going into the World Cup which is why their inclusions over George Linde raised many eyebrows. However, Fortuin’s numbers in T20I suggest that he can do a similar job for the Proteas in the UAE.

Reeza Hendricks

Batting Stats: Matches 35 Runs 937 Average 26.77 Strike Rate 122.32 Highest Score 75                

Reeza Hendricks, Janneman Malan and Aiden Markram have had a healthy amount of competition for the opening batsman spot since Hashim Amla’s retirement. Malan looked like he had won the battle with his performances for the Proteas, especially in ODIs.

Hendricks being picked over Malan has been another major talking point since the squad was announced and I don’t quite understand how he was picked over and in-form Malan. Reeza’s strike rate of 122.32 is not good enough for a T20I opening batsman as he often struggles to kick on after a decent start in the first six overs.

Heinrich Klaasen

Batting Stats: Matches 25 Runs 436 Average 22.94 Strike Rate 142.89 Highest Score 69                        

The fact that most South Africans are not happy with many of the players included in the squad says a lot about the state of South African cricket. Heinrich Klaasen is another one who divides opinion. The wicket-keeper batsman seems to be a favourite of Mark Boucher as he always seems to pick Klaasen despite him not being in the greatest of form.

The Proteas’ will be hoping he finds the form that earned him an IPL contract when he broke onto the scene against India in 2018. Someone like Kyle Verreynne has not been given the number of chances that Klassen has been given for him to be considered as the second choice wicket-keeper for the World Cup.

Aiden Markram

Batting Stats: Matches: 14 Runs 426 Average 35.50 Strike Rate 147.40 Highest Score 70

Bowling Stats: Wickets 4 Average 20.50 Economy Rate 9.11 Strike Rate 13.50

Aiden Markram has been fantastic for the Proteas since the T20I series against Pakistan on home soil. His numbers speak for themselves as he has an impressive average of 35.50 and an even more impressive strike rate of 147.40 in T20Is. The fact that he contributes with the ball could be one of the reasons he was selected ahead of Malan.

He has recently been signed by the Punjab Kings for the upcoming IPL which will give him valuable experience heading into the T20 World Cup.

David Miller

Batting Stats: Matches 90 Runs 1742 Average 31.67 Strike Rate 140.82 Highest Score 101*                        

Despite him not being in great form, David Miller had to be in the squad considering his international experience and power-hitting at the death. He is the only left-handed batsman in the middle order and the only one of his kind in the squad (finisher).

Wiaan Mulder

Batting Stats: Matches 4 Runs 51 Average 25.50 Strike Rate 115.90 Highest Score 36                                                 

Bowling Stats: Wickets 4 Average 19.75 Economy Rate 7.90 Strike Rate 15.00

You would’ve expected Wiaan Mulder to have played more than four matches in T20Is heading into the World Cup. However, his selection makes a lot of sense considering Andile Phehlukwayo’s poor form with bat and ball for the Proteas.

Lungi Ngidi

Bowling Stats: Matches 23 Wickets 36 Average 19.61 Economy Rate 8.95 Strike Rate 13.10

Lungi Ngidi is another player who’ll be going into the World Cup lacking in confidence. His recent performances against the West Indies and Ireland were not up to the standards that we expect from him. Ngidi has always been someone who can take early wickets for the Proteas in limited-overs cricket but he has not been doing that on a regular basis recently.

He has been leaking runs and has struggled bowling at the death. His injury record has not helped him as he has also lost some pace. The Titans’ bowler will be hoping to rediscover his form in the UAE.

Anrich Nortje

Bowling Stats: Matches 11 Wickets 9 Average 32.22 Economy Rate 7.43 Strike Rate 26.00

The Dehli Capitals speedster has been fantastic in international cricket for the Proteas. His 9 wickets in 11 matches tell a different story but he has proven that he can take wickets in the shortest format of the game with his performances for the Capitals, taking 22 wickets in 16 matches in the previous IPL campaign. He also has a decent economy rate of 7.43 in T20Is and will prove to be a great weapon for Bavuma’s side at the World Cup.

Dwaine Pretorius

Batting Stats: Matches 16 Runs 169 Average 33.79 Strike Rate 166.68 Highest Score 77*                              

Bowling Stats: Wickets 14 Average 23.42 Economy Rate 8.00 Strike Rate 17.50

Dwaine Pretorius has been unlucky with injuries and also tested positive for Covid 19 before the West Indies series. The fact that he’s only played 16 times for the Proteas in T20Is is surprising. He can do a fine job with the ball in the middle overs and can also contribute with the bat. His average of 33.79 and strike rate of 166.68 says a lot about his capabilities with the bat.

Kagiso Rabada

Bowling Stats: Matches 34 Wickets 39 Average 27.35 Economy Rate 8.66 Strike Rate 18.90

KG Rabada is one of the few world-class players in the squad. His recent performances for the Proteas have not been good enough which should be a massive worry for Mark Boucher. The Proteas’ spearhead has struggled in the current T20I series against Sri Lanka. He conceded 29 runs in two overs in the previous match.

Rabada’s form could have a huge influence on how the Proteas perform in the UAE as he’s proven in the IPL that he can perform in those types of conditions.

Tabraiz Shamsi

Bowling Stats: Matches: 41 Wickets 49 Average 21.08 Economy Rate 6.79 Strike Rate 18.16

Shamsi is arguably the most important player in this South African squad along with Quinton de Kock. He is the number one ranked T20I bowler in the world. The wrist-spinner is also having another fantastic series with the ball against Sri Lanka.

Temba Bavuma could have had the luxury of having two quality wrist-spinners if Imran Tahir was selected. Despite that, Shamsi will certainly be one of the best players at this year’s T20 World Cup.

Rassie van der Dussen

Batting Stats: Matches 28 Runs 756 Average 36.00 Strike Rate 134.75 Highest Score 74*  

Rassie van der Dussen is another player who has not been in form in recent matches. He had a great start to his international career but has expectedly seen a dip in form. The middle-order batsman still has an impressive average in T20Is and will play a big role in the Proteas batting lineup in the absence of Faf du Plessis.

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