Proteas: World Cup squad up for debate

Just who will make the final selection for the Proteas 15-man ICC Cricket World Cup squad will be revealed by Cricket SA on Wednesday in Cape Town.

The 50-over tournament, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, begins on February 14 2015.

Based on South Africa’s performances in one-day international (ODI) cricket over the past year, as well as those named in the 30-man preliminary squad in December, 11 players must be considered certainties. 

AB de Villiers as captain, Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Imran Tahir.

It still leaves four places up for grabs, and one of the front-runners for a berth is Dolphins wicketkeeper and opening batsman Morne van Wyk.

The 35-year-old should be brought in as cover for the first-choice keeper and opener, De Kock, who picked up an ankle injury in December which could take up to two months to heal.

De Kock is likely to miss South Africa’s opening game against Zimbabwe on February 15, and could still be in doubt for the Proteas second game against India a week later.

After De Kock’s rolled his ankle midway through the first Test against the West Indies in Pretoria last month, De Villiers took the gloves for the remainder of the Test series.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo, however, stated he did not want De Villiers keeping wicket in one day cricket, as he already has enough on his plate with the captaincy.

However, the idea of three wicketkeepers in the squad may not appeal to management and the selectors.

If Van Wyk is not picked, Domingo could employ a batsman in the temporary opening spot alongside regular opener Hashim Amla and either Reeza Hendricks or Rilee Rossouw could fill the vacancy.

Hendricks, who opens for the Knights, is in great form having scored 157 at the top of the order in a four-day game against the Cobras last week.

He has played three T20Is for South Africa, but is yet to make his ODI debut.

Rossouw, meanwhile, has already played nine ODIs for the Proteas, batting at number four five times, number three twice, seven on one occasion and opening once.

While the captain and coach were yet to work out where Rossouw is best suited in the order, he has managed just 145 runs in those knocks, at an average of 16.11.

In the bowling department, Kyle Abbott and Lonwabo Tsotsobe will be at the top of the radar. Abbott played seven matches for the Proteas in 2014 and, although he averaged 51 runs per wicket, his economy rate was reasonable at 4.27 per over.

Tsotsobe, meanwhile, has been a standout performer in domestic one-day so far this season. Playing for the Lions, the 30-year-old is the competition’s leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps at an average of 18.08.

However, he has not turned out for his country in an ODI since December 2013, and last played for the Proteas in a T20I in March.

An ankle injury side-lined the left-arm bowler for much of 2014, but he now appears to be back to his best. He could also bring much-needed experience to the South African team, having played 61 ODIs after making his debut back in 2009.

Also on the verge of selection is Titans batsman Farhaan Behardien.

The 31-year-old failed to set the stage alight during his 16 ODI appearances, with a batting average of 22.23. The selectors, however, persisted with him and he turned out in all five ODIs against hosts Australia in November.

With the Proteas going down 4-1 in the series, and his place in the team under scrutiny, Behardien made 63 from 41 balls in the final match of the series to throw his name back into the hat. He has also had some success with the ball, picking up eight wickets, at an average of 30, for the Proteas.

In the spin department, Aaron Phangiso could well earn that final spot in the squad. 

Phangiso was included in the travelling side for the Australian tour, but did not play a game after picking up a finger injury. 

Returning to fitness, the 30-year-old could be selected as cover or replacement for Tahir.

Phangiso has 12 ODIs behind his name with a best of 3/43 against Zimbabwe in August last year.–Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Guest Author

Safety at schools: ‘Keep your distance and your pen’

The department of basic education has developed guidelines to assist schools with minimising the spread of the coronavirus

‘Soon he’ll be seen as threatening, not cute’: What it’s...

There is no separating George Floyd’s killing from the struggles black people have faced ever since the first slave ships landed on these shores

How schools could work during Covid

Ahead of their opening, the basic education department has given schools three models to consider to ensure physical distancing

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday