Cricket World Cup Profile: South Africa a bit below the radar this time
A perennial favourite in previous editions, South Africa enter the 2019 World Cup a bit below the radar this time around.
The Proteas are quietly building again, after legend AB de Villiers opted for the shelter of global T20 franchise leagues instead of one final shot at World Cup glory.
Instead that will be left to a new group willing to put their bodies on the line, with the hope that the elusive World Cup trophy finally makes it way to Mzansi.
The Playmaker: David Miller
There is a feeling within the Proteas camp that the world has not seen the best of Miller yet, and that #CWC19 will be his moment to shine. Captain Faf du Plessis certainly believes this, and has promoted Miller to No 5 to give the powerful left-hander the best opportunity to explode.
Unlike some of his teammates, he also seems to enjoy the pressure of the World Cup, having amassed 233 runs at an average of 64.80, including an 18-ball 49 in the epic Eden Park semi-final four years ago.
Mr Dependable: Rassie van der Dussen
Captain Faf du Plessis is the arch type of “Mr Dependable”, but newbie Rassie van der Dussen has fast become a beacon of consistency for the Proteas too.
After nine ODIs, Van der Dussen averages 88.25, with plenty of those runs coming in high-pressure situations. Calm. Unflustered. Cool. All perfect adjectives to describe the way the Highveld Lions man goes about his business.
The Rookie: Lungi Ngidi
Everyone knows Kagiso Rabada, but what few are actually aware of is that his sidekick Ngidi actually boasts a superior ODI strike-rate. Ngidi has bagged 34 wickets at 21.64 – compared to Rabada’s 106 at 26.43.
The muscular fast bowler will form a vital part of the Proteas’ plans due to his knack of making inroads with the new ball.
World Cup Squad
Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Chris Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Rassie van der Dussen.