On the day that South Africa will discover which 15 players are going to the World Cup, former Kiwi legend Martin Crowe has predicted a Proteas versus New Zealand final.
Speaking after New Zealand wrapped up the second Test with a convincing 193-run win over Sri Lanka, Crowe turned his thoughts to next months World Cup. The Black Caps were semi-finalists in 1992 and knocked the Proteas out of the last World Cup as well.
‘I’m picking a New Zealand vs South Africa final,’ he said at Eden Park in Auckland on Wednesday.
‘That’s my gut feeling, We are going to win it one day and we’re pretty good at home. South Africa are also due too.’
South Africa’s provisional squad of 30 will be reduced to 15 later on Wednesday – there is press conference scheduled for 4pm SAST – and the chances are that the injured wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock will be named in that final 15. De Kock injured his ankle in the warm-up during the first Test against the West Indies at Centurion, but has not had surgery and is expected to be able to recover fully given the time there still is.
Other of the ‘walking wounded’, JP Duminy and Aaron Phangiso are also expected to make the final 15.
The big talking points could be around the make-up of the bowling unit, as well as the all-rounders’ berths, where Wayne Parnell and Ryan McLaren likely to be fighting it out for one spot. Likewise Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Kyle Abbott for a bowler’s place. Abbott has proven himself to be one of the better death bowlers in the country – and South Africa has been sadly lacking in the department of late – but Tsotsobe has many supporters following a good domestic run. And he was, we are reminded, once ranked the No1 ODI bowler in the world.
South Africa’s provisional squad: Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla (vice capt), Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), Marchant de Lange, AB de Villiers (capt & wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan Mclaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Andrew Puttick, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Mthokozisi Shezi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne van Wyk (wk), David Wiese.