South Africa announced their 15 man squad that will try to win for them that elusive ICC trophy which has always seemed to be like a mirage for the Protea team, always within touching distance but never materializing in reality. It is a strong squad with all the bases covered and marks the return of speedster Dale Steyn after an injury hiatus. Steyn is currently rehabilitating for a groin and shoulder niggle but is expected to play the T20's against the Australian's in the lead up to the mega event in India.
There was no place in the squad for either of Morkel brothers, Morne and Albie. Morne has been in superb form recently and I wonder if the South Africans have made a mistake in not picking him. With his height, the extra bounce he can generate could have been useful in India where the pitches tend to have variable bounce at times. Steyn, who was brilliant in the ODI series that the Protea team won in India late last year will be supported by Kasigo Rabada and Kyle Abbot, the two making quite an impression in recent times.
Chris Morris, the IPL millionaire, and David Wiese will provide the seam bowling all-rounder options who possess natural variations of pace and can be quite a handful on the Indian tracks.
Imran Tahir, the colorful leggie and Aaron Phangiso, a slow left arm orthodox bowler will have the responsibility of bowling the middle overs and keeping the opposition batsmen in check. Tahir has not been in form recently, picking up only 2 wickets in the first 3 ODI's against England while also leaking runs. Phangiso did not play the T20I's against India but played in the ODI's that the Protea team won 3-2.
The batting will be led by the Fantastico AB de Villiers who continues to surprise us with his range of shots and the ease with which he pulls them off. They will also be delighted with the return to form of Quinton de Kock, having scored two scorching tons against England recently as he is someone who can also keep wickets and reduce the burden on de Villiers. Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis complete the top four with JP Duminy, the explosive Miller (who has not been in good form and has not played a part in the ODI series against England up until now) and Rilee Rossouw set to provide the late order charge. JP Duminy can also be a very handy spinner in Indian conditions.
The 15 man squad that the South Africans have put up has all the ingredients required to go all the way. The ability of their batsmen to cope up with the turning tracks in India and whether they can handle the pressure of a multi team event, though, remains to be seen.
South Africa WT20 Squad: Faf du Plessis (Captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese