South Africa finally announced their World Cup squad and can I just start by saying how unbelievably relieved I am that Hashim Amla was selected.
I believe that was the right call. There was no way you can leave out a player with almost 8000 ODI runs, with an average of over 50 in ODIs in the UK, and with his wealth of experience, there’s just no way.
He is The Mighty Hash after all.
I am so pleased that Rassie van der Dussen was selected in the final 15. He has taken to international cricket like a duck to water. He has faced so many different match situations and batted in different positions every game, but he just adapts. He’s a naturally gifted batsman, and I am so glad they picked him.
The selection of Anrich Nortje was also very well received. Nortje is a fine fast bowler, he’s fast, aggressive and accurate, and can you just imagine him bowling with KG or Ngidi? That will be epic.
South Africa have always been blessed with world class fast bowlers, and Nortje is another that can be added to that list.
People will say that the squad is too bowler heavy, but that is South Africa’s strength, so why not go with what your strength is. I would hate to have a situation arise where a part-timer, like Aiden Markram for instance, would have to bowl 4 or 5 overs, because there is no-one else, and potentially leak too many runs.
I also firmly believe that the top 6 will fire and will be effective. The batsmen in the Proteas top 6 are world class, and with that being the case, they don’t need to have bits & pieces players down the order. I would hope that they will only go in with the one all-rounder in the World Cup opener, in Andile Phehlukwayo.
Quinton de Kock and Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis are continuing their fine form from the South African summer into the IPL. You can’t have a team that is just filled with power hitters, South Africa have enough power hitters in their team with the likes of Quinton, Miller and Duminy, but they also have calm heads and batsmen you can build an innings around in Amla, Faf and Rassie. This is a good and balanced side.
I’m not concerned at all about the bowling, the only thing is, I hope that KG gets some rest before the opening game. He’s been in fantastic form in the IPL, and hopefully will continue that form in the World Cup, but he needs some rest first.
I know people have been saying that Reeza Hendricks was unlucky, but honestly, I am happy he wasn’t selected. Reeza is a fine T20 batsman, but he just hasn’t been giving those same performances in ODI cricket.
My hope for Reeza, is that he will use this setback as motivation to work on his ODI game and come back stronger.
All in all, I am very happy with this squad selected. I believe this is the 15 best players that could have been selected, so well done to the selectors.
Now we just have to wait for 30th May for that opening game of the World Cup when South Africa face England at The Oval.
37 days and counting.
South Africa’s 15 man World Cup squad:
Faf du Plessis (c), JP Duminy, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Quinton de Kock, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Hashim Amla & Tabraiz Shamsi