Cricket South Africa named its provisional 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s World Cup. The Faf du Plessis-led side will open its campaign against the host England in the curtain raiser on May 30.
The 36-year-old, who was far from a guaranteed spot in the team, was named by the selectors, leading to a battle for a top-order berth. Quinton de Kock is locked at the top but should his partner be Amla or Aiden Markram will create a lot of problem for the management. Amla has struggled in the recent past. Meanwhile, there are chances Rassie van der Dussen can make the cut at number four.
David Miller to be Quinton de Kock’s backup
There is no specialist back-up wicket-keeper to de Kock, which means David Miller will be behind the wickets. Miller wore the gloves during the second ODI against Sri Lanka and had played the role for both KwaZulu-Natal Inland Under-19s and Dolphins.
The 40-year-old leg-spinner, who has 162 wickets from 98 ODIs under his belt, will hang up the boots after the World Cup. The question arises will Tahir be able to sign off in style before joining the world of T20 franchises. Since the 2015 edition, Tahir has picked up 92 wickets with an economy rate under five. Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Tabraiz Shamsi, the left-arm wrist spinner, who has to prove himself the best replacement of departing Tahir.
The 15-man squad for the World Cup: Faf du Plessis (c), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, JP Duminy, Dwaine Pretorius, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi.
South Africa will play against Sri Lanka and West Indies in the warm-ups on May 24 and 26 respectively before starting its campaign in the marquee event.