After recovering from an elbow injury, Temba Bavuma will lead South Africa at the men’s T20 World Cup. The injury had kept Bavuma out since the T20I tour of India in June.
Bavuma failed to join the whole all-format tour of England to recover and opted conservative treatment instead an operation with a view of being fit for the World cup.
It has also been confirmed that Bavuma will play as an opener. He has made enough progress and will make a comeback on the white-ball tour of India, of three ODI’s and three T20Is, in September-October. Bavuma is expected to be available for all the games. The team for the World cup will play the T20Is in India, while some tweaks are expected for the ODI squad.
However, Rassie van der Dussen has been ruled out. Van der Dussen broke his left index finger while fielding during the second Test against England at Old Trafford but batted in South Africa’s second innings, routinely taking his top hand off the bat after striking a shot. He was advised by a finger specialist and is expected to rest for up to six weeks.
The CSA’s convenor of selectors said in a press release that Temba Bavuma has recovered well. He has been playing for the Lions in Namibia over the last week and he is good enough to go.
As for Rassie, unfortunately, the timing of the injury did not come at the right time. Van der Dussen’s absence has also created an opening for Kolpak-returnee Rilee Rossouw in the team.
Reeza Hendricks, who has come off a run of four consecutive T20 fifties and a 42 is also part of the team. It made the South Africa team impair for choice in the top order that also includes Quinton de Kockand Aiden Markram.
However, confirming Bavuma would open – a role he had been playing for a long time – Markram might just continue in the middle-order choice.
Meanwhile, Hendricks and Rossouw could play essential roles in the top order too, even though it might be tricky to fit all the excellent options in.
Introducing the South Africa squad
Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw, Temba Bavuma, Aidem Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell.
Reserves: Andie Phehlukwayo, Bjorn Fortuin, Marco Jansen
An interesting part of this team is the selection of two fast track bowling all rounders, Dwaine Pretorius and Wayne Parnell. Before turning out for Northern Superchargers, Parnell played in the T20I series in India and in England versus Ireland. While Pretorius, as one of the most in demand T20 cricketers around the world so far, also played the T20I series against Ireland.
Having said those, the team does not look unique from the one that took part in the T20 world cup last year. Van den Dusser of course has been precluded, and Wiaan Mulder has been excluded and Fortuin has moved to the reserves’ list.
South Africa are in Group 2 in the main round of the T20 World Cup, with Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and another two qualifiers.