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FRESH FACES

Uncapped Rickelton and Baartman crack the nod for Proteas T20 World Cup squad

Uncapped Rickelton and Baartman crack the nod for Proteas T20 World Cup squad
Proteas white ball coach Rob Walter made no real surprises with his selections for the T20 World Cup. (Photo: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)

Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter announced his T20 World Cup squad on Tuesday.

There were no real surprises in Proteas white-ball coach Rob Walter’s 15-man squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA from 1-29 June.

The most noticeable omission is that of domestic stalwart Rassie van der Dussen, who has scored the second most runs in T20 cricket this year, only behind Pakistan skipper Babar Azam — they’re also the only two to have smacked over 1,000 runs so far this calendar year.

But according to Walter, the top-order positions for the World Cup are all occupied by players who have done the hard yards.

“Reeza (Hendricks) has been a star performer for us in T20 cricket,” Walter told the media on Tuesday.

“Quinny (de Kock), we’ve seen him do it time and time again for us…

“Ryan Rickelton has had two outstanding competitions where he has played the brand of cricket where we are looking to play. And then we’re going to (captain) Aiden Markram… that will be the top order,” the coach explained.

Rickelton joins death over specialist Ottniel Baartman in the World Cup squad as the only two uncapped players at T20I level but both have been in thunderous form — finishing as the highest run scorer and highest wicket-taker, respectively, in the SA20.

 Ottniel Baartman, Proteas

Fast bowler Ottniel Baartman, seen here playing for the Dolphins during the CSA T20 Challenge, has been included in the Proteas’ squad for the T20 World Cup. (Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)

Bowling stocks

Nandre Burger, who made his international debut for South Africa in all three formats in December last year, along with Lungi Ngidi, who recently returned from injury, have been chosen as the two travelling reserves.

Fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada, Gerald Coetzee, Anrich Nortje — who has been struggling for form since returning from injury — have been chosen ahead of Burger and Ngidi.

According to Walter, the x-factor Nortje offers with his express pace was the deciding factor in his final selection. Marco Jansen is also in the squad to provide an all-rounder option.

Walter has opted to take three spinners along to the Caribbean and US, where the wickets are expected to grip and turn — particularly in the West Indies.

The ever-dependable Keshav Maharaj along with Bjorn Fortuin and Tabraiz Shamsi have cracked the nod for those roles.

Ryan Rickelton, Proteas

Ryan Rickelton has been rewarded for his consistent form with the bat, by earning Proteas selection for the T20 World Cup. (Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

West Indies tour

The Proteas play a three-match T20I series against West Indies prior to the tournament kicking off at the start of June. However, several national players currently battling it out in the Indian Premier League (IPL) will not be available for selection for the series.

Walter, has therefore, selected a provision squad for that series, with changes expected as player availability becomes clearer closer to the time.

“This group will change and have players added to it when management is aware of IPL player availability,” a Cricket South Africa statement read.

Rickelton and Baartman are both in the provisional squad so look likely to make their international debut before the global showpiece. DM

South Africa squad – ICC Men’s T20 World Cup West Indies and USA

Aiden Markram (captain, Titans), Ottniel Baartman (Dolphins), Gerald Coetzee (Titans), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Bjorn Fortuin (Lions), Reeza Hendricks (Lions), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), David Miller (Dolphins), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (Lions) Ryan Rickelton (Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans) and Tristan Stubbs (Warriors)

South Africa T20I provisional squad against West Indies

Ottniel Baartman (Dolphins), Matthew Breetzke (Warriors), Bjorn Fortuin (Lions), Reeza Hendricks (Lions), Patrick Kruger (Warriors), Wiaan Mulder (Lions), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Nqaba Peter (Lions), Ryan Rickelton (Lions), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans) and Rassie van der Dussen (Lions).

Gallery

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