South Africa may want to enter a T20 WC game with this ‘ideal’ playing XI

Feature image– Official Proteas Men Twitter/X handle

South Africa and ICC Tournaments are like this coquettish couple who are extremely flirtatious in the group stages but seem to distance from each other as the knock out games arrive.

Perhaps, when it’s time to have decisions made in the do or die games, South Africa decides to look the other side, leavingthe die-hard faithful rather bemused. It has happened way too often, be it the semifinals of the 1999, 2007 and the 2015 editions or most recently the 2023 ODI World Cup.

However, as things stand, the Proteas enter yet another ICC World Cup, this time in the shortest format with expectations soaring and the pressure to deliver ever looming.

As the Caribbean Islands and the United Sates open their shores to welcome the 20 teams including the hosts, the competition will be stiff across the 55 matches.

South Africa pitted against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Netherlands and Nepal in Group D will have the task cut out for them as they will look to deliver on the biggest stage, this time hoping to go the distance.

So, as we wait for this much coveted event to begin, let’s look at a potential XI for the Proteas from the recently announced World Cup squad who possibly could do the impossible:

Quinton de Kock

Having bowed out of ODI cricket, after the last ODI World Cup, this south paw will be keen to take South Africa to the pinnacle of this tournament with his sole focus now being T20 cricket. 

A seasoned destructive starter at the top, he hasn’t done justice to his talent yet in the ongoing IPL for Lucknow Super Giants just making a paltry 236 runs from nine games and one would hope his fortunes turn for the better as national duty beckons.

Reeza Hendricks

Reeza Hendricks has possibly been one of the best batters for the Proteas recently in T20I’s averaging 31 with 14 fifties.

His form for his domestic franchise, the Lions has been rather phenomenal in the recently concluded CSA T20 Challenge aiding his team to lift the competition by scoring 400 plus runs with four fifties at a healthy strike rate of 140.

Hendricks would definitely serve as the able compatriot to de Kock at the top.

Aiden Markram

The captain and the mainstay of the South African batting, Aiden Markram will undoubtedly be looking to make this T20 World Cup his own, not only with his aggressive stroke play but also with his shrewd tactical captaincy.

Having won a World Cup for South Africa at the Under 19 level, this champion cricketer surely knows how to get the job done.

Heinrich Klaasen

Possibly the most destructive player not only for South Africa but around the world in the shortest format, Klaasen has yet another chance to prove his mettle at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

With a strike rate of 147, he would look to put maximum balls out of the part en route to ensuring his team finally lifts the much-needed silverware.

David Miller

One of the most experienced campaigners for the Proteas, this lethal south paw will once again put himself through the utmost rigor to win a tournament for South Africa.

His destructive stroke play in the middle order will add the vital depth to the Proteas batting, helping them reach totals in excess of 200 to pile the pressure on their opponents.

Source- Official Proteas Men Twitter/X handle

Tristan Stubbs

Stubbs has unquestionably been a revelation in the shortest format.

Ask his captain Rishabh Pant at Delhi Capitals and he will whole heartedly agree and why not with this young South African already piling up 273 runs from 10 games at a whopping strike rate of 192 and an average of 68.

A no brainer to be in the South African team, Stubbs would hope to replicate the same IPL form for his country.

Marco Jansen

This towering right-hand batter and left-hand bowler has definitely carved his niche in the green and gold of South Africa.

With praise worthy performances in ODI cricket,amassing 35 wickets and more than 400 runs in a handful of games, Jansen will now look to cement his place in the shortest format.

The in-swingers at pace coupled with the six hitting ability, Marco will provide the destructive intent both with ball and bat.

Keshav Maharaj

The premiere spinner in the South African playing XI, Maharaj is as wily a bowler in the shortest format as they come.

Having already amassed 24 wickets in the format at a controlled economy rate of 7.3 coupled with his late order hitting, Keshav will surely look to weave his magic for the Proteas as the T20 World Cup beckons.

Gerald Coetzee

The karate kid of South African cricket, Coetzee with his head band has certainly made a lot of heads turn in both white and red ball cricket.

Having already captured 37 wickets in the limited overs format, this young speedster is very deadly with his pace and swing.

A Mumbai Indians recruit, he has been piling on the wickets in this year’s IPL having already got 12 cherries to his name. Gerald would surely hope his form continues at the World Cup as he undoubtedly will be one of the king-pins in South Africa’s pace arsenal.

Kagiso Rabada

A seasoned veteran in South Africa’s pace bowling ranks, one need not speak much about Kagiso Rabada.

He is as vital to South African cricket as water is to a human being and selects himself as the spearhead of this Mzansi attack.

Tabraiz Shamsi

Pitted as the one of the best slow bowlers in the shortest format some seasons back, Shamsi showed his class in the last ODI World Cup in India taking nine wickets in four matches making him the second highest on the cherry list for South Africa.

He would surely want this form to continue as he faces astiff challenge for the Proteas at yet another World Cup with the hope to make them soar to the highest honour this time.

In addition to the aforementioned XI, the Proteas could also look to the likes of Anrich Nortje, Ryan Rickelton, Bjorn Fortuin and Ottniel Baartman who complete their squad of 15for their unwavering support if their fortunes turn the right tide on any match day.

With a squad as talented as this, South Africa would certainlyhope to embrace triumph with an unwavering resolve, navigating the currents of another ICC Tournament with indomitable spirit amid the soothing symphony of 60 million strong Mzansi faithful cheering on in unison.

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