New Zealand announced a strong World Cup squad on Wednesday. The Proteas’ 15 for the global showpiece in the United Kingdom will be named before 18 April.
South Africa’s selection could, to an extent, mirror the Kiwis’ choices.
Four fast bowlers
- The Black Caps have opted for four frontline seamers in Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult and Matt Henry. They have the variation of a left-armer in Boult, too, and the genuine pace of Ferguson. The Proteas will likely have Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, three of whom can generate pace to match Ferguson. A southpaw seamer such as Beuran Hendricks isn’t likely, though.
- Tom Blundell has gathered two Tests and three T20I, but hasn’t been capped at ODI level. South Africa have a host of inexperienced T20I players pushing for ODI selection, with Janneman Malan, Gihahn Cloete, Lutho Sipamla, Sinethemba Qeshile and others in the reckoning.
- Ish Sodhi joined Blundell in the squad as the other relatively surprising pick. India, regardless of conditions, enjoy playing twin wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the same ODI XI. Imran Tahir will almost certainly be in South Africa’s World Cup squad – and left-arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi is a formidable candidate, too.
- New Zealand have seamer all-rounders Colin de Grandhomme and Jimmy Neesham – and a spinner option in Mitchell Santner. JP Duminy could be to South Africa what Santner is to the Kiwis, while two out of Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Wiaan Mulder and Chris Morris will probably take the seamer all-rounder berths.
Seven specialist batsmen
- The Black Caps have Blundell, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham and Colin Munro. South Africa will likely have Duminy, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markam, while there is indecision over whether Hashim Amla should be retained and Reeza Hendricks selected. Just seven of the eight are really required.
- New Zealand will have Blundell as Latham’s understudy. Both are formal wicketkeepers, while South Africa are toying with having Miller behind the stumps if De Kock can’t. This direction, of course, would sideline Heinrich Klaasen.
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