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A topsy-turvy South Africa look for the right combination

South Africa, Du Plesis, De Villiers, World Cup T20, Hashim Amla
From their group South Africa are the most likely to reach the semi-finals.

It’s been a South Hemisphere summer of ups and down for South Africa, a resurgence in the Twenty20 format brought to a halt by the Australian collective.  The Proteas face more questions than answers as they look to claim their first ICC title in the World T20 tournament in India this month.

In a surprising move in the T20 series against Australia, Hashim Amla was jettisoned from the playing XI as AB de Villiers was pushed up the order to open. While that was an attacking move in itself, Amla returned for the third T20I and smashed 97 to showcase his T20 prowess. Surely Amla has now earned his berth in the line-up and De Villiers may have to move back down the order, a regressive step.

With David Miller a certainty to start, JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien are fighting for one place. Unfortunately neither of the two are in the form deserving of a guaranteed start. Which means Rilee Rossouw should get a look in, a decision that would limited South Africa’s bowling options.

Two shocking omissions from South Africa’s World T20 squad are the Morkel Brothers – Albie and Morne. On paper Albie Morkel does seem like a bigger loss, but David Wiese does bring a similar skillset with form on his side. Morne Morkel though should have found a place in the squad and the playing XI. The bowling attack is now reliant on a half-fit Dale Steyn, an inexperienced Kagiso Rabada and a bit-and-pieces Kyle Abbott.

South Africa though have two players who can win a T20 match single-handedly – De Villiers and Imran Tahir. Not much needs to be said about De Villiers’ abilities but Tahir has grown into his role as one of the best limited overs bowlers and will prove more than a handful in Indian conditions.

What we can expect

If their recent form in anything to go by, South Africa are the hardest team to predict. On their day, no side stands a chance, but on others they can be taken apart by even the elements. From their group South Africa are the most likely to reach the semi-finals. For them the difference between victory and defeat is determined by just one factor – the performance of AB de Villiers.

 

 

 

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