Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Paterson, Theunis de Bruyn, JJ Smuts and Mangaliso Mosehle. Who are SA’s new recruits?
Not much introduction is needed for Phehlukwayo. His recent call-up to the Proteas ODI side has made him an obvious choice for the T20 squad. Despite boasting a great start against Australia taking eight wickets including 4-44 in the first ODI against them, Phehlukwayo stole the hearts of many after he smashed 42 not out to claim a series victory against the Aussies. In T20s, he took 12 wickets last year for the Dolphins. In this year’s campaign, he only managed to play one match where he took two wickets ending with figures of 2-3. The 20-year-old will hope he can replicate his ODI form for the T20 side against Sri Lanka and should be the favourite to take the new ball for his side.
The 20-year-old pace bowler has gathered a strong admiration from supporters, selectors and pundits alike. Reaching speeds of 130-145 km/h, the young Titans star has worked his way up as a regular pick for his franchise. His record in T20s has not been outstanding but his nine scalps for his franchise helped them retain their CSA T20 title. In last year’s campus cricket tournament in Sri Lanka, he took seven wickets at an average of 13.43 and an economy rate of 5.88 for Tuks. His consistency has paid off earning him a call-up to the T20 Proteas squad and is tipped as one of SA’s best young talents.
The 27-year-old has consistently starred for the Cobras, ending as their top pace bowler for three consecutive Sunfoil Series campaigns. He remains a wildcard for T20 selection, in fact the Paterson only took six wickets in eight innings during the Cobras’ CSA T20 Challenge campaign. In his overall Twenty20 record, he has 43 scalps at an average of 23.45.
Theunis de Bruyn
After his recent call-up to the Proteas Test squad, De Bruyne has yet to receive his first cap, despite boasting a remarkable 48.73 average in 32 first-class matches. His T20 record last season showed his versatility in all formats as a batsman. He ended ninth in last year’s T20 Challenge scoring 250 including a century for the Titans in 10 matches as they lifted the trophy. This season, after switching to the Knights, he played only five games but still managed to score 195 at an average of 48.75 and a strike rate of 137 including two half-centuries. Although his dream is to play Test cricket for his country, De Bruyn will look to use the shortest format as a stepping stone for better things.
This seemed to be an inevitable selection. The 28-year-old captained Eastern Province to an Africa T20 trophy and left an impression by scoring the only century since the tournament’s establishment in 2015. He ended the tournament with a strike rate of 156.80 and an average of 49.00 and replicated this form in the CSA T20 Challenge for the Warriors. He led them to the final, ending as the highest run scorer of the tournament, and was the only player other than David Miller to score a century in the campaign. With an overall Twenty20 strike rate of 125.10 and his success in the shortest format, a Proteas call-up was expected.
His T20 challenge campaign has seen him joint seventh with 277 runs from 11 matches at an average of 30 and a high score of 58. The 26-year old, who switched to the Lions this season, will be best remembered for his 87 off 39 balls in last year’s Ram Slam T20 Challenge final helping the Titans to their third title.