The Indian Cricket Team is set to take the field one last time before Indian Premier League 2020 as they gear up to take on the mighty South African team. The Proteas recently locked horns with Australia in a 3-match ODI series and Quinton de Kock’s men whitewashed the Aussies courtesy of some fantastic performances from their new players.
South Africa announced their squad for the series against India last week. The team’s former captain, Faf du Plessis has returned to the team while the squad also features some big names playing in the IPL including the likes of David Miller. Here is the complete squad of the visiting side:
South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (C & WK), Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Kyle Verreynne, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Jon-Jon Smuts, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan.
Given that South Africa registered convincing victories over Australia in their previous series, Quinton de Kock and co. will be high on momentum. Here is a SWOT analysis of South Africa’s squad for the ODI series against India.
The biggest strength of the South African ODI squad is its batting unit. Quinton de Kock has a magnificent record against India while the duo of Janneman Malan and Heinrich Klaasen impressed with their performances versus Australia. Faf du Plessis has played a lot of games in India thus, he will bring some much-needed experience to the table.
South Africa easily chased down the targets set by the Aussies in the previous series, which shows that this lineup will not come under pressure even if India sets a big target. The visitors will be in the comfort zone in case they field first because the Men in Blue have struggled while batting first in the ODI format.
While the batting department of South Africa has improved by leaps and bounds in the past few months, the spin bowling department received a major blow when Imran Tahir announced his retirement from international cricket. In the current squad, South Africa has the options of Keshav Maharaj, Jon Jon Smuts, and George Linde.
All the spin bowlers bowl left-arm orthodox spin hence, there is not much variety in their spin attack. Besides, the four spinners lack in terms of experience as well so, the South African spinners are unlikely to trouble India in this series. Captain Quinton de Kock will have to ensure that his team’s spinners do not get exposed versus Virat Kohli’s side.
Just like the spin bowling department, South Africa’s fast bowling attack lacks some experienced names. Kagiso Rabada is out of the series because of an injury due to which the secondary fast bowlers of the team will have an opportunity to prove themselves in this ODI series.
Lungi Ngidi bowled splendidly against Australia, picking up six wickets in the second ODI. Andile Phehlukwayo and Beuran Hendricks have been around the international arena for a while and the pair of Lutho Sipamla and Anrich Nortje will also try to cement their positions in the ODI team with a superb performance against India.
The only threat for the South African team in this series is that a majority of their batsmen will play in India for the first time and as this is a brief series, they will not have enough time to understand the playing conditions. Janneman Malan recently made his ODI debut, while even Kyle Verreynne is new to international cricket. Although South Africa whitewashed Australia, the matches were played at the venues where these players grew up playing domestic cricket.
Also, David Miller, who looked in sublime touch against Australia, had struggled to get going in the last few seasons of IPL. It looked like the conditions got the better of him hence, even he will face the challenge of doing well in this series. In case the South African batting unit matches the expectations, then the visitors should give India a run for their money in the 3-match series.