South Africa announced their 15 man squad for the Twenty20 World Cup, to be held in South Africa, in September. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the exclusion of Jacques Kallis, who had been named as vice caption when the 30 man provisional squad was announced last month.
While Australia chose to send the basically the same team that had done duty for them in the Caribbean World Cup, with the exception of the now retired Glenn Mcgrath, the South African team sees 7 players included who did not make the trip to the West Indies. While Australia have gone the root of seeing limited over players as limited over players, be it in a 50 over game or 20 over game, the South Africans have chosen a squad geared towards the shortest form of the game. This would explain the exclusion of Kallis, one of the finest all rounders in the history of the game, who’s game is perhaps least suited to T20 cricket. Kallis has in the past shown that he is capable of playing an aggressive innings, as he did against the West Indies in the World Cup, but he still needs a few overs to play himself in, a luxury that is not available as much in T20 cricket. So Kallis will have a longer rest to gear him up for a long season that begins with a tough tour to Pakistan almost immediately after the tournament ends.
In Golam Bodi, JP Duminy, Johan van der Wath, Albie and Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Thandi Tshabalala, all of whom did not go to the World Cup, the Proteas have chosen players to give them more options, and fire power, players suited and tested in the quick smash and grab game. Bodi, an attacking opening batsman, has been rewarded for his domestic performances in Pro 20 cricket over the last few seasons, and should be given his chance at some stage of the 2 week tournament. Duminy, a stylish, stroke playing middle order batsman, has played ODI’s for South Africa, and gives them the option of spin as well. In van der Wath, Albie Morkel and Vernon Philander South Africa have some hard hitting batsman, capable of clearing the boundaries at will, as well as seam and swing bowling options. All three should play apart with bat and ball for the Proteas. Morne Morkel, the tall fast bowler, gives the attack the raw pace and aggression, that can complement Pollocks perfect line and length, while having the added bonus of being pretty economical as well. Morkel should find himself in the South African Test and ODI squads soon.
Andre Nel, Charl Langeveld, Ashwell Prince, Andrew Hall, Robin Peterson, Roger Telemachus miss out from the team that left for the West Indies in March. Andrew Hall can perhaps count himself unlucky as his economic death bowling could have been an advantage, however in Pollock, Ntini, van der Wath, Morne Morkel, Albie Morkel, and Philander the selectors probably feel they have enough variation and options in the pace bowling department. Another player who can count himself unlucky not to make the team is Morne van Wyk, who has been the outstanding domestic batsman in Pro 20 cricket over the last few years, and did well against India and Ireland in May, when deputising for the injured Smith. Again the numbers where not in his favour this time as the batting line up looks particularity imposing, with Smith, de Villiers, Bosman, and Bodi all competing for the openers birth.
The squad has met the racial targets set out by CSA, of 7 from 15 non white players, and has not been weakened at all. All the players there are selected on merit, and any 11 chosen from these 15 will be hard to beat. South Africa will go into the tournament confident of winning the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup.