South Africa’s World Cup squad: Riding high on experience, South African team will head to England in a hope to remove the Choker’s tag in the upcoming World Cup, scheduled to be held between late May and mid-July. Players with the likes of skipper Faf Du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir, Dayle Steyn, and JP Duminy will play third World Cup, hoping to come home with a trophy this team around.
South Africa’s 15-member squad for the World Cup was announced on 18th April for the 2019 World Cup.
Wicket-keeper Quinton De Kock will open the innings with Hashim Amla. Young Aiden Markram will be the third opener along with them. Skipper Faf Du Plessis will lead the back who will be responsible for holding the innings together. Faf is likely to be the main force of his batting line up. South Africa’s success is likely to rest on Du Plessis’ shoulder.
The middle-order includes experienced campaigners such as David Miller and JP Duminy. The trio is likely to hold South Africa’s batting weight in the World Cup.
The squad includes two all-rounders in the form of Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris. Though only one will get a chance to feature in the eleven, both are pace bowling all-rounders of substantial quality. Dwaine Pretorius has been phenomenal in the last one year and has shown that he is here to stay.
South Africa’s fast bowling department is perhaps their strongest point going into the World Cup. Kagiso Rabada will lead the bowling armoury, while Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi will also play an influential role in the big-ticket event.
Here’s look at three talking points from South Africa’s World Cup Squad:
#1 Out-of-form Hashim Amla makes the cut
Knowing the fact that Hashim Amla’s runs have dried up lately, the South African batsman still got the nod from the selectors owing to his vast experience and obviously the class he possesses with the bat. Since 2018, the right-handed batsman has only managed to score just one century. Amla tried to improve his form in the domestic cricket but failed miserably having played six games with only one double-digit figure to his name.
Though, Amla’s ally, Quinton De Kock has been in a supreme run of form leading up to the World Cup. The South African wicket-keeper crossed the 500-run mark in the first qualifier of the IPL 2019. Prior to the IPL, De Kock put on a show in the series against Sri Lanka, scoring three half-centuries and one century in five ODIs. He is a certainty in the playing eleven, while one from Amla or Markram will join hands with De Kock ahead of the first match in the World Cup against England.
#2 South Africa’s bowling to prove a point in England
Known for producing world-class bowlers, South Africa’s bowling line-up includes a list of spectacular bowlers such as Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir to name a few. South Africa’s bowling line up is perhaps their strongest link in the World Cup. Kagiso Rabada is currently one of the best bowlers in the World while the accuracy of Lungi Ngidi and experience of Dayle Steyn makes it a daunting fast-bowling attack.
The Proteas also possesses the world’s best leg-spinner at present in the form of Imran Tahir. Tahir has also been in a rich vein of form. The leg spinner has picked 23 wickets in 15 matches in the tournament. Tabraiz Shamsi has also been selected as the second spinner in the squad along with Tahir.
If South Africa wants to turn their fortunes around and fancy their chances in the World Cup, the bowling line up has to fire on all cylinders.
#3 Anrich Nortje ruled out of the World Cup squad
South Africa pacer Anrich Nortje has been ruled of the World Cup squad with a fractured thumb, prior to days before the World Cup. All-rounder Chris Morris will replace him in the World Cup squad. Nortje fractured his right thumb while practising in the nets, and will need six to eight weeks to recover completely.
“Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball,” South Africa team manager said.
“He has the pace and death-bowling skills which will be vital in the UK, and also gives us that depth as a deadly finisher with the bat. We have had concerns around his injuries and workload capabilities but this is an opportunity for him to make a mark on the biggest stage. Admittedly, the injuries ahead of the tournament have been frustrating but I continue to have confidence that the players we have selected will make the country proud.” He added.
For those of you who don’t know South Africa has not won a single World Cup title in the history of World Cups and are fondly called the chokers in world cricket. The Proteas come in the tournament as favourites in every edition, however, succumb under crunch matches in the latter half of the tournament. It will be interesting to see if South Africa remove their Chokers tag from themselves in the World Cup 2019.
South Africa’s World Cup Squad: Faf Du Plessis ©, David Miller, Aiden Markram, Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Dale Steyn, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jean-Paul Duminy, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Quinton De Kock.
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