Cricket : Rabada and Steyn included in the T20 Squad

Cricket : Rabada and Steyn included in the T20 Squad

Morne Morkel and Themba Bavuma were the only notable exclusion from South Africa’s World T20 squad announced on Wednesday.

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Morkel has not a played a T20 for South Africa since August last year, so him missing out is perhaps not too surprising. Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott will lead the pace attack alongside Dale Steyn.

Steyn’s inclusion is, however, is subject to being passed fit. Steyn was rested for the Proteas’ previous T20 assignment away to India and injury has prevented him from playing much international cricket since then.

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Rilee Rossouw and David Wiese, who missed the India series through injury, return to the squad, as does Aaron Phangiso who has been preferred to Eddie Leie as the second specialist spin bowling option.

Convenor of selectors Linda Zondi said, “Dale’s return is very good news. He brings tremendous experience and leadership to the team, not to mention his skills as the outstanding fast bowler of his generation.”

Zondi added that, “We have a lot of experience in this group with 10 of the players having played in the last World Twenty20 in 2014, also on the sub-continent.”

Zondi also shared the thinking behind Phangiso’s inclusion.

“The inclusion of Aaron means that we have all our spin bowling options covered with him, Imran Tahir and JP Duminy offering the different varieties. Left-arm spin bowlers tend to play big roles under Indian conditions.”

Faf Du Plessis will continue his role as captain of the T20 side that enjoyed a 2-0 series win against India last year.

“The ICC World T20 is the competition that we have been working towards over the last 18 months.

We have had disappointments in the past and this year is another great opportunity for us to lift that elusive ICC trophy.

We have been playing together as a squad for some time now and are really hungry and motivated to put in the performances to bring us success.

I’m really excited about the group of players who will be representing the country and hope we can make everyone proud.” said Faf

The Proteas will be in Group One consisting of England, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

One more nation will be added to the group out of Hong Kong, Scotland, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.

Coach Russell Domingo says it is anybody’s tournament to win.

“We are in a tough group in the tournament with England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and a qualifier. All of the top six teams in the world rankings have the skill and ability to lift the trophy so it’s a completely open competition with high stakes.”

The 15-man squad will be the same squad who plays against England and Australia in the upcoming T20 series.

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese.