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Four talking points with the Proteas ODI and T20I squads

South Africa batsman Aiden Markram in action

The journey that Aiden Markram has been on, across all formats, has not been an easy one but it has shaped him to be just what the Proteas T20I side needs. Picture: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

Published Mar 8, 2023


Johannesburg - The ODI and T20I squad announcement left the country buzzing with excitement and opinions.

Here IOL Sport's Ongama Gcwabe discusses Four Talking Points from the announcement.

1. "Proactive” contracting

As the Director of Cricket confirmed, Cricket South Africa is trying to be "proactive" with regards to how national contracts are set up. This is in response to the evolving cricket landscape.

CSA is looking into the idea of one or two format contracts which will coexist with the three format contracts. This means CSA will have a bigger pool of players on their payroll but most importantly, South Africa will hold on to all its talents. The free agents - Faf du Plessis and Imran Tahir to name a few, might make a return in the green and gold.

This strengthens South Africa's chances of competing successfully in this year's 50-Over World Cup.

2. Omissions

Temba Bavuma was the biggest omission from last year's T20I World Cup squad. Coach Rob Walter emphasised that his job is to get Bavuma in form to be in the squad again.

George Linde is another player that was missing from the T20I squad that will face the West Indies later this month. Linde has been in good form domestically. His dominance with the bat in the SA20 saw his name thrown into the hat for selection for this series.

On the ODI side of things, it was anticipated that Senuran Muthusamy would be named in the squad because of his performances in the CSA One Day Cup this season. Muthusamy scored two centuries with the bat and was decent with the ball as well.

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3. Project 2027 in full flow

The selections of Tristan Stubbs and Ryan Rickelton signalled Rob Walter's intentions of building a core group of players for the 2027 World Cup which South Africa will host. Most of the batters in the white ball teams are well into their 30s and some of them naturally play the old fashioned way. Thus, Stubbs and Rickelton are next in line to take over from those players.

For Stubbs and Rickelton, it almost comes natural to almost always take positive options when batting. Their batting approach is attacking and they bat at high intensity. Stubbs already has a T20I World Cup experience under his belt which is a solid foundation to build a good ODI career.

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4. Change of captain

Change in leadership in the T20I space is probably what the format needed after all the controversy it has attracted over the last year. A new captain will bring a new energy to the team and around T20I format as well.

The journey that Aiden Markram has been on, across all formats, has not been an easy one but it has shaped him to be just what the Proteas T20I side needs.

His success in the SA20, leading the Sunrisers Eastern Cape franchise, showed his maturity on and off the field, and also showed his ability in reading the game as captain. Markram has found his groove and has been a consistent performer in T20 cricket, making him the perfect player to lead the side.


IOL Sport