The South African squad for the Mahatma Gandhi-Nelson Mandela series has been announced. And there are no major surprises at all! Keeping in mind the conditions that the Proteas are going to find in India, the team management has prepared a judicious mix of players who can adapt to the sub continental conditions quickly. The series begins with the 1st T20I on October 2, and shall continue till December 7.
South African squad selection – ICC World T20 in sight
The tour of India presents the South Africans with a golden opportunity to flex their muscles before the ICC World T20 2016. The team has not had much exposure to sub continental conditions this year. The only time they toured Asia, Bangladesh managed to humble them 2-1 in an ODI series. With the ICC World T20 just 6 months away, a high profile clash with India ought to be just what the Proteas might have wanted.
The South African squad, too, has been selected keeping this is mind. To relieve Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel from excess pressure, a number of alternatives have been kept open in the bowling department. Chris Morris is present in both the ODI and T20 squads and, given his experience of playing in the IPL, is likely to be an important figure in South Africa’s campaign. Marchant de Lange, who has been in and out of the squad in the last one year, has been given a place in the T20 squad. Rilee Rossouw’s untimely injury has forced him out of the T20s. However, selectors have included him in the ODI squad, and expressed confidence in the fact that he would be hale and hearty before the ODIs begin.
Imran Tahir’s comeback and South Africa’s ‘spin plans’
Imran Tahir, South Africa’s lead bowler in almost all the formats of the game in the last few months, has made a comeback to the T20 side. Given the vital role that he can play in the upcoming World T20, Tahir’s comeback to the shortest version of the game was well nigh imperative. He has replaced Aaron Phangiso, who was in the team in the recently concluded home series against New Zealand.
The South Africans are supposedly looking to develop a spin trio, expecting to face spin friendly tracks in India in the upcoming tournaments. Dale Piedt and Simon Harmer have been included in the Test squad, and one of them might accompany Tahir in the playing XI. JP Duminy’s all round capabilities are expected to play key roles in the T20s and ODIs. Duminy had a fairly successful season with the Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2015, and would be eager to prove his worth on Indian soil once again.
The complete South African squad for the tour is available at Sports Rediscovered