• Five Proteas definitely going to T20 World Cup

    The home T20Is have delivered a mixed bag from the Proteas, but there were some performers who have put their hands up.

    The squad the Proteas take to the T20 World Cup should not look vastly different from the groups that were picked to face England and Australia.

    There are still plenty of players in the group who won’t be sure of their places until after the tour to the USA and the Caribbean to take on the Windies.

    Here we look at five players who are likely to have done enough to punch their tickets to Australia in October:

    Quinton de Kock

    Having been named the T20I skipper, it would be highly irregular if Quinton de Kock wasn’t in the World Cup squad.

    He has had a rough start to the captaincy, but most fans and pundits have faith in his ability to take on the leadership of the team and keep performing.

    De Kock has been in good touch throughout the summer, topping the run-scoring charts for the Proteas across all three formats. Only injury can prevent him from getting on that flight to Australia.

    Tabraiz Shamsi

    Local conditions and the presence of Imran Tahir have prevented Tabraiz Shamsi from establishing himself in the Proteas’ white-ball squads, but this home summer has afforded him a prolonged run in the team.

    Shamsi is a consistent wicket threat, and whether the Proteas choose to recall Tahir or not, the left-arm wrist-spinner has to be in the World Cup squad.

    On bouncy Australian wickets, Shamsi could be a real handful, and he shows improved consistency the more he plays for the Proteas.

    Kagiso Rabada

    The paceman was rested for the England series, but Rabada is one of the first names on a Proteas teamsheet across all three formats.

    In T20s specifically, his extra pace and ability to bowl deadly yorkers make him a death-bowling asset.

    The 24-year-old is already a global superstar, and if he finds his rhythm, the Proteas might be tough to beat.

    Dale Steyn

    The veteran’s presence has been questioned by some, but the way he avoided a hammering at the Wanderers and claimed a few scalps along the way shows he has the skills to aid the Proteas’ bid to become T20 World Champions.

    His ‘out the back of the hand’ slower ball may have been removed from his arsenal to spare his bowling shoulder excessive strain, but his variations in pace are hard to pick and his lines excellent.

    Steyn is also vital to the group as a mentor and a wise head out on the park for the bowlers to look up to.

    Temba Bavuma

    The series against England may have given us just a sampling of what Temba Bavuma can do, but his partnership with De Kock has been the bright spot in a gloomy home season.

    Bavuma and De Kock play off each other so well with their styles and skills dovetailing in a way that should be pleasing to all fans of South African cricket.

    Importantly, Bavuma has shown a willingness to get after the bowling straight away in keeping with the prevailing philosophy in T20 cricket. He has match awareness beyond his limited T20I experience and should be on his way to Australia later this year.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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