SA omit Smith from World T20 squad
Jacques Kallis has another chance to win an elusive World Cup after being included in the Proteas’ squad for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka next month and Cricket South Africa (CSA) selection convener Andrew Hudson believes that the premier allrounder is ‘desperate’ to achieve the feat.
The 36-year-old Kallis has made no secret of his desire to win a World Cup before he draws the curtain on what has already been a stellar career.
Kallis has played only one T20 international since for his country since May 2010, when he turned out in March last year against India in Johannesburg in a match held in his honour.
But Hudson feels that Kallis’s T20 skills, something that he was much derided for early in his career with some critics complaining that Kallis batted too slowly for the shortest form of the game, have been honed in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“I think he is desperate to register that one win and he plays a vital part in terms of opening the batting and his bowling and just being a wise head in this format,” said Hudson of Kallis.
“He has shown how well he does year in, year out in the IPL. I think there will be a massive effort from Jacques and hopefully success here will roll on to further success down the road,” he added.
The one major omission from the squad was South Africa test captain Graeme Smith. Smith has not played T20 international cricket since October 2011 but he would have harboured hopes of making the cut for the World T20 after being included in the 30-man provisional squad.
However, Smith was not included in the final 15-man squad but Hudson said that that majority of the squad picked itself.
“It pretty much chose itself for the first 12 players but then you have to consider with 13, 14 and 15 what your cover is and what happens if players get injuries and what happens if players don’t hit form etc.?
GOOD BALANCE OF YOUTH AND EXPERIENCE
“I think it is a wonderful squad. I think it has a good balance of youth and experience. It has been selected with sub-continent conditions in mind and it has a lot of versatility and cover in terms of the batting and bowling departments,” Hudson explained.
South Africa have included two front-line spinners in offie Johan Botha and left-armer Robin Peterson in the anticipation of spin-friendly Sri Lanka pitches. Hudson said he had no concerns about the Proteas’ ability to compete in sub-continent conditions.
“A lot of the squad has played IPL so they have played in sub-continent conditions. Sri Lanka is slightly different to India but still, the wickets deteriorate and you have to take pace off the ball.
We have been through a thorough process (in choosing the squad) and I think we have given Gary (Kirsten) lots of options.
South Africa have been drawn in Group C with Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe with their first match set for September 20 against Zimbabwe at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota.
The Women's World T20 will take place alongside the men's event in Sri Lanka, and National Coach for Women, Yashin Ebrahim, also announced his team on Thursday.
“Our captain, Mignon du Preez, has played a vital role in our preparations and is growing quickly in this leadership role. Her calm demeanour, both on and off the field, has gelled the squad," said Ebrahim.
“She will be backed up by some fine individual performers such as her vice-captain, Trisha Chetty, who is one of the best wicketkeepers in the world and is also ranked among the top 10 specialist batsmen, Shandre Fritz, who is our only player to have scored a century in this format and Sunette Loubser, last year’s SA Women’s Cricketer of the Year.”
The women's team open their campaign against hosts Sri Lanka in Galle on September 26.
SOUTH AFRICA SQUAD FOR WORLD T20: AB de Villiers (Nashua Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (Sunfoil Dolphins), Farhaan Behardien (Nashua Titans), Johan Botha (Chevrolet Warriors), JP Duminy (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Nashua Titans), Jacques Kallis (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Richard Levi (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Albie Morkel (Nashua Titans), Morne Morkel (Nashua Titans), Justin Ontong (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Wayne Parnell (Chevrolet Warriors), Robin Peterson (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Sunfoil Dolphins).
SOUTH AFRICA SQUAD FOR WOMEN'S WORLD T20: Mignon du Preez (Northerns, capt), Trisha Chetty (KZN, vice-capt), Susan Benade (Griqua Diamonds), Dinesha Devnarain (KZN), Shandre Fritz (Western Province), Alison Hodgkinson (Boland), Shabnim Ismail (Western Province), Marizanne Kapp (Northerns), Ayabonga Khaka (Border), Marcia Letsoalo (Northerns), Sunette Loubser (Boland), Sune Luus (Northerns), Yolandi van der Westhuizen (Boland), Dane van Niekerk (Northerns).