Lonwabo Tsotsobe has put his hat back into the ring for South African selection following a highly successful tour to India with the South Africa A squad.
‘Lopsy had an excellent tour, both in the four-day and limited overs format,’ said Enoch Nkwe, head coach of the Gauteng provincial side for the Africa T20 Cup and who was also part of the coaching staff of the South Africa A squad.
‘The weather was extremely hot and the climatic conditions were challenging and he impressed both with his fitness and his skill levels in the differing formats. It was good to see him come through a fairly long tour without any injury recurrences.
‘There are a lot of good left-handers emerging in South African cricket at the moment but Lopsy has a real chance to enhance his claims further for Proteas selection when the Africa Cup starts. He is certainly one of the senior players I will be relying on to guide the many youngsters we have in our squad and another is Temba Bavuma.
‘Unfortunately we will not have KG [Kagiso Rabada] for the tournament but he is a close friend of many of our players and I am sure the manner in which he has gone from youth to senior international status will serve as an inspiration to our squad. I certainly intend to make use of his experiences in the preparation phase. A lot of our younger players are on the brink of franchise selection and this is an opportunity for all of them.’
Nkwe feels that all the pools will be tough. ‘We have an international side – Kenya – in our pool along with hosts Free State and a powerful-looking SWD line-up but we want to win every competition we enter. The key will be to make sure that our T20 skills are sharp and that we handle the pressure moments better than our opponents.’
Gauteng squad: Sizwe Masondo (capt), Matthew Arnold, Temba Bavuma, Devon Conway, Yassar Cook, Bradley Dial, Keith Dudgeon, Zaid Saloojee, Carmi le Roux, Nono Pongolo, Dominic Hendricks, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Yaseen Valli.