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India vs South Africa | South Africa T20I Squad Analysis: Proteas Lack Experience But Can Cause an Upset

South Africa go into the three-match T20I series with India starting in Dharamsala on Sunday as the underdogs – a tag not often associated with any Proteas unit.

Nikhil Narain |September 15, 2019, 11:37 AM IST
India vs South Africa | South Africa T20I Squad Analysis: Proteas Lack Experience But Can Cause an Upset

South Africa go into the three-match T20I series with India starting in Dharamsala on Sunday as the underdogs – a tag not often associated with any Proteas unit.

With the retirement of some of their marquee players – AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and with Faf Du Plessis rested to try new options as well as Dale Steyn declared ‘not medically fit’ for the India series, South Africa have gone largely with an untested and inexperienced unit.

LACK OF INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

David Miller is the most ‘internationally’ experienced player in the Proteas squad having played 70 T20Is for South Africa. But barring Quinton de Kock, the skipper, with 36, no other team member has even played 25 matches in the format.

There are as many as 4 uncapped players in the squad of 14 – George Linde, Temba Bavuma, Bjorn Fortuin and Anrich Nortje. And 3 more who have played less than 10 matches.

The collective experience of the squad of 14 is 15 matches. Sans Miller and it is barely 11!

THE MILLER THREAT

Miller is the most explosive and dangerous batsman for South Africa. He is their only batsman who has scored a minimum of 600 runs and has a strike rate in excess of 140.

He was in terrible form in 2018, scoring just 121 runs from 7 innings at an average of 20.16 and strike rate of 113.08 but has regained his touch this year striking at a rate of 168.29. He has already played two match-winning knocks against Pakistan (65 not out off 29 deliveries) and Sri Lanka (41 off 23) earlier this year.

Miller

Miller holds the record for the joint-fastest hundred in T20I history – 35 deliveries against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom in 2017.

Overall, he is a veteran of 291 T20 matches (domestic and international) aggregating 6400 runs at an average of 34.97 and strike rate of 138.91, including 3 hundreds.

No other member of this South African T20I squad boasts of a great international record. But the team does not lack exposure in the format at the domestic and league level.

DE KOCK AND VAN DER DUSSEN’S IMPRESSIVE DOMESTIC RECORD

Quinton De Kock does not have a very flattering international record for South Africa but he has some excellent returns in domestic cricket. He has scored 4049 runs in 125 innings at an average of 34.61 and strike rate of 138 including 4 hundreds in T20 domestic cricket.

He was the third-highest run getter in IPL 2019 and aggregated 529 runs in 16 innings at an average of 35.26 and strike rate of 132.91.

Rassie van der Dussen has an impressive T20 record and it is not surprising that he has been elevated and given the responsibility of the vice-captaincy.

(Image: Twitter)

Having already scored two fifties in his short seven-match T20I career, Van Der Dussen was in fine form for Vancouver Knights in the Global T20 Canada and scored 208 runs at an average of 52 and strike rate of 161.24.

He was the second-highest scorer of the 2018 season playing an integral part in his franchise’s victory.

Van Der Dussen was the highest scorer of the Mzansi Super League 2018, playing a pivotal role in his team’s victory. He scored 469 runs at an average of 58.62 and strike rate of 138.75.

Incidentally, De Kock’s Blitz finished runners-up and he followed Van Der Dussen with 412 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 169.54.

Van Der Dussen was also the joint-highest run-getter in the CSA T20 in 2019 scoring 348 runs at a strike rate of 144.39.

OTHER DANGEROUS MIDDLE-ORDER BATSMEN

Reeza Hendricks has a fine T20 record having scored above 3000 runs in 117 matches at an average of 36.25.

He was in good form in the List-A matches for South Africa A and slammed a hundred against India A in Thiruvananthapuram.

(Image: CSA/Twitter)

Hendricks was the other star for Jozi Stars in 2018 scoring 412 runs at an average of 58.85 and strike rate of 142.56 including two hundreds.

Dwaine Pretorius is a dangerous all-rounder who bats in the middle-order and is capable of hitting the long ball. His strike rate, both with the bat and the ball (140 and 20.5) stands out.

He hit a quickfire match-winning 77 off just 42 deliveries against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg earlier in the year.

Temba Bavuma was the third-highest scorer in the CSA T20 Challenge scoring 326 runs leading the Lions to victory smashing a 61-ball hundred in the final.

RABADA LEADS A TALENTED BOWLING UNIT

Kagiso Rabada has bagged 94 wickets in just 67 T20 matches (domestic and international). Known for his searing pace and accuracy, he is a wicket-taker as demonstrated by his strike rate of 15.9.

With 25 wickets from just 12 matches he was the second-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2019. His average of 14.72 and strike rate of 11.2 stood out!

Bjorn Fortuin is a slow left-arm orthodox bowler who was the leading wicket-taker with 15 wickets at 14.33 apiece in the CSA T20 Challenge 2019. What also stood out was his ability to restrict the opposition batsmen as illustrated by his economy rate of 5.65.

Overall, he has a very fine T20 record with 65 wickets at an average of 17.56 and strike rate of 16.5.

Left-arm fast medium Beuran Hendricks not only adds variety to the attack but is another wicket-taking option for South Africa. He has picked 89 T20 wickets in just 64 matches at a strike rate of 14.4.

Beuran Hendricks

Tabraiz Shamsi is South Africa’s version of Kuldeep Yadav. He has a good T20 record having picked 119 wickets in 112 innings at a strike rate of 20.2 and economy of 7.28.

Anrich Nortje is capable of generating extreme pace and has already taken 19 wickets in 12 T20 matches at a strike rate of 12.7

George Linde is another all-rounder in the squad who bowls left-arm orthodox and has a good strike rate batting in the lower-order. He has picked 77 wickets in 75 T20 matches and has a strike rate of almost 140 in the format.

Junior Dala, another right-arm medium pacer, was in good form in the CSA T20 Challenge 2018-19 picking 11 wickets at a strike rate of 13 for the Titans.

Andile Phehlukwayo is the leading wicket-taker for South Africa in 2019 with 12 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 12.75 and strike rate of 9.5.

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