Dale Steyn finds a place in South Africa’s preliminary 15-man squad for the World Cup scheduled to be held in England. Steyn who made his comeback into the ODI side after nearly a two-year gap in October 2018 has been picked keeping in mind his vast experience. The debate over veteran Hashim Amla too has been sorted with him being picked in the side. Amla has just one hundred in his last 17 ODIs and there was speculation he might be left out due to his poor form but the selectors have backed him for the showpiece event.
Reeza Hendricks though was unlucky to miss out as Aiden Markram was chosen ahead of him. Hendricks who made a hundred on his ODI debut against Sri Lanka lost out to Markram who scored heavily in the domestic ODI competition back home in South Africa. That tilted the scales in Markram’s favor. Amla and Markram will be followed by the trusted trio of Faf du Plessis, Duminy and David Miller who will also serve as backup wicketkeeper as South Africa have just Quinton de Kock as the lone keeper.
“We are very happy with the squad we have been able to put together and have every confidence in their ability to do our country proud at the World Cup,” CSA National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi said.
“The fact that we have managed to win our last five series in a row in this format against Zimbabwe, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka twice underlines the quality of the team that Faf will lead into the contest.
“The final selection is also the result of a very rigorous search we have conducted, leaving no stone unturned, to make sure that we have made the best use of the options available to us.”
Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius will be the allrounders with Chris Morris missing out. Morris is currently having a good IPL with Delhi Capitals and should consider himself unlucky not to be a part of the squad. The pace bowling department will be led by Kagiso Rabada and has both Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi who have injury concerns but are expected to be fit in time before the event starts. As expected the two spin bowling slots went to Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi and the last batting spot was grabbed by Rassie van der Dussen.
South Africa play two warm-up games against Sri Lanka and West Indies before beginning their World Cup campaign against hosts England at the Kennington Oval in London on 30th May.