One of the teams that have been surprisingly underperforming in the World T20 is none other than South Africa. In the last six editions, the Proteas have managed to make it to the semi-finals only once, which particularly does not speak about the talent the team possesses.
|2010||West Indies||Group Stage|
|2012||Sri Lanka||Group Stage|
|2018||West Indies||Group Stage|
Going into the World T20 this time around, South Africa will look for a change in fortunes. To make it to the semi-finals, they will definitely have to pull a rabbit out of their hat. Placed in a group with England and West Indies, the Proteas will be expected to put in dollops of hard work and fight hard in the league to make it into the top two that will eventually go into the semi-finals.
The 15-member South African squad that will be playing World T20 is as follows: Dane van Niekerk (captain), Chloe Tryon, Trisha Chetty, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Nadine de Klerk, Lizelle Lee, Suné Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Laura Wolvaardt
So, what could be the possible strengths and weaknesses of this South African outfit? What should they capitalize on? And what should they overcome in order to go a long way in this tourney? Let’s have a look.
With just one shy of a century of T20Is, Mignon du Preez is the most experienced batter in this South African line-up and has seven T20I half centuries to her name. Lizelle Lee is another player to watch out for. Lee, with 11 T20I half centuries is a powerful hitter and has the ability to keep the bowlers at bay. Skipper Dan van Niekerk is another batter who averages just below 30 and has 10 T20I 50’s. Opening bat Laura Wolvaardt is her short career of 21 matches so far, looks a dependable option at the top of the order.
With respect to their bowling, Shabnim Ismail will be the backbone of the South African attack. Ismail is quick and has the reputation of being the wicket-taker. Ayabonga Khaka is her perfect companion. Khaka and Ismail tend to bowl well in tandem and can give nightmares to the opposition. Additionally, an all-rounder like Suné Luus gives the Proteas an advantage over its peers. Luus is more than handy with the bat as she has three T20I half-centuries to her name and is one of the quality spinners in the team.
From the fielding perspective, the South Africans boast of a good bunch of boundary riders and in-field fielders. Hailing from the land of one of the best fielders in the world, this is a team that wears its heart on the sleeves and plays fearless cricket.
Though the side has some of the best batters in the world, the team has failed to perform as a unit. It is important that one person takes the onus of either seeing the team through or playing a dominant role in setting up totals, depending on whether the team is batting first or second.
Moving on, South Africans have some good quick bowlers in their ranks, but there seems to be some weakness in their spin department. Skipper Niekerk and Luus are their spinning options, with Nonkululeko Mlaba, having played just five T20Is, it is possible that the opposition can capitalize on their relatively weak spinners. From the fielding perspective, the Proteas do not posit any particular weakness.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.