The Test squad is in transition and the one day international side under the cosh against England.
It means that it could very well be left to the Proteas T20 squad to provide something of a morale booster after the recent struggles.
But more importantly it’s crucial that the outfit finds their winning formula quickly given that the two T20 internationals mark the start of preparations for the ICC World T20 which begins in India next month.
The 15-man squad for the showpiece will be announced this evening and it will be interesting to see whether the selectors tinker with the formula which worked during the side’s successful series victory over India on their tour there towards the end of last year.
As you’d expect there are a few names that write themselves onto the teamsheet with AB de Villiers and captain Faf du Plessis sure things while you’d also expect JP Duminy and David Miller, named captain of his IPL franchise the Kings XI Punjab, to be included along with Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn.
At this stage it’s not yet clear whether Steyn has recovered from the injury woes that have kept his participation to a minimum against the tourists in recent weeks.
Chuck in Kagiso Rabada and all-rounder Chris Morris and you’re probably getting closer to the strongest possible XI.
You’d also expect Quinton de Kock’s name to appear. His inclusion paves the way for De Villiers, used as an opener of late to focus purely on his batting. De Kock was in the squad in India but only played in the warm-up game. He did however, return to South Africa and light up the Ram Slam T20 competition, ending as the top-scorer with 437 runs in his 11 innings.
It might be a bizarre proposition but with De Kock and De Villiers opening the batting, Hashim Amla may be surplus to requirements and if he goes it may just be to make up numbers in the squad.
But it becomes a lot cloudier when trying to fill in the rest of the blanks with the likes of Eddie Leie and Aaron Phangiso fighting it out for the second spinner’s spot while Albie Morkel and David Wiese may clash over an all-rounder’s spot.
You’d expect Kyle Abbott to travel as an extra bowler while a case could be made for Reeza Hendricks, third highest run getter in the Ram Slam, and Rilee Rossouw who averages 39.14 in his 10 T20 international appearances to date.
Whatever the makeup of the squad they’ll be desperate to go one better and then some on their 2014 showing when losing in the semifinals to India. The first game of their 2016 campaign is against England on March 18.
AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis (c), JP Duminy, David Miller, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir, Kyle Abbott, Albie Morkel / David Wiese, Eddie Leie / Aaron Phangiso, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien.
Wayne Parnell, Reeza Hendricks, Beuran Hendricks, Rilee Rossouw
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