Proteas bring back big guns T20 series against Australia
Rabada, who spent his time off taking in the sights and sounds of the NBA All Star weekend in Chicago and Nortje, along with Faf du Plessis were named in a 16-man squad yesterday that will face Australia in the three T20 matches, the first of which will be played at the Wanderers.
The Proteas lost the T20 series against England, having taken a lead with Mark Boucher bemoaning his bowlers’ inability to execute the right strategies. The majority of those bowlers have been retained for the series against the Australians, with the coaching staff obviously hoping they’ve heeded the lessons learned in that England series.
Rabada and Nortje were both in need of a break after that England Test series although for slightly different reasons. Rabada has carried a heavy workload in the last 18 months, playing across all three formats and needed to freshen up both mentally and physically. For Nortje the last four months since playing his first Test in India would have been a shock to his system.
He took on an increasingly bigger role in the series against England and while he ended it as the leading wicket-taker, he also bowled the second highest number of overs - 125 - behind left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.
Du Plessis’ return will spark interest, especially how he deals with not being captain anymore. Perhaps more importantly for him will be making runs again after a few months in which his form has dipped noticeably particularly in the Test arena.
Reeza Hendricks, Sisanda Magala and Beuran Hendricks were left out, while the wait continues for when Imran Tahir, Chris Morris and AB de Villiers could return.
Quinton de Kock (capt, wk), * Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Bjorn Fortuin, Anrich Nortje, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen