The Proteas are seeking a relatively permanent opening partner alongside captain Quinton de Kock ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
Rassie van der Dussen
South Africa pushed Van der Dussen up the order for the first T20I against Australia at the Wanderers in Johannesburg recently, suggesting a lack of faith in Smuts as an opener. Van der Dussen is probably best left in the middle order.
Bavuma held the position until a hamstring injury struck. When he returns to fitness, he’ll likely slot straight back in as opener. The man is determined not to be pigeonholed as a Test batsman – and is doing a great job in walking the talk.
Smuts started his international career as an opening batsman, but has since been moved into the middle order and is playing more of a role with the ball. He is certainly behind Bavuma in the pecking order and now Hendricks, too.
Hendricks was not in the squad for the series against Australia to start, but got a late gig amid injury to Bavuma and Heinrich Klaasen. He then walked straight into the XI and will likely retain the spot for the series decider at Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday.
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Malan seemed like the man favoured for the job and was even elevated to the ODI squad for the series against England. He didn’t play a match and was also left out of the T20I squad to play England. He hasn’t been picked to play Australia, either.
Faf du Plessis
Du Plessis has done the job for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League on several occasions. Freed of the Proteas captaincy across all three formats, perhaps there is a new role for him at the top of the order in the shortest version of the international game.
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