Poor form puts Amla’s World Cup place in jeopardy

Amla (36), is one of South Africa’s all-time great one-day international players but his recent form has been poor, while increasing age has meant that he has slowed down in the field.

Amla scored only 51 runs in four innings in South Africa’s shock Test series loss against Sri Lanka earlier this year and did not play in the first three one-day internationals against the tourists, although Cricket South Africa stressed he had not been dropped.

He was due to play the final two one-day games against Sri Lanka but withdrew because his father was seriously ill.

After more than a month out of cricket, Amla returned for the Cape Cobras franchise in a domestic Twenty20 competition in early April but his first three matches yielded only 28 runs.

He showed signs of promise for the Cobras on Sunday with an innings of 32 — his joint-highest score in any form of cricket since a one-day series against Pakistan in January.

With captain Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller and JP Duminy all seemingly certain of selection, there is probably room for only two more top-order batsmen in a 15-man squad.

Outstanding fielders

Amla’s rivals, Aiden Markram and Reeza Hendricks, have both been in good recent form, with Hendricks named man-of-the-series in the recent Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka after a poor one-day series had seemingly scuttled his chances.

Markram and Hendricks are outstanding fielders.

The other big debate ahead of the squad announcement is the identity of a back-up fast bowler to the likely trio of Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi.

Newcomer Anrich Nortje was impressive in the one-day series against Sri Lanka and although he was forced to withdraw from the Indian Premier League with a shoulder injury he is expected to be fit for the World Cup.

While he has not played in a one-day international since February last year, Chris Morris has been picked by several experts in their preferred World Cup squads because he can bowl at more than 140 kph and is a hard-hitting lower-order batsman.

Three wickets for the Delhi Capitals against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday took his total to 11 in six matches in this year’s IPL. 

Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius are likely to be picked as all-rounders, while Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi are South Africa’s probable spin bowlers.

It is unlikely that a back-up wicketkeeper to De Kock will be chosen, with Miller seemingly being groomed as an emergency gloveman.

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

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

Colin Bryden
Colin Bryden
Semi-active journalist and editor SA Cricket Annual.
Advertisting

Tension over who’s boss of courts

In a letter, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng questions whether Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has acted constitutionally

SABC sued over ‘bad’ clip of Ramaphosa

A senior employee at the public broadcaster wants compensation for claims of ‘sabotage’

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories