Cape Town – West Indies T20 World Cup winner Samuel Badree believes Tabraiz Shamsi "is worth his weight in gold" to the Proteas at the upcoming T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Shamsi is ranked No 1 on the ICC T20 bowlers list and is expected to play a major role in the Proteas quest to win their first major ICC trophy since 1998.
Badree played a pivotal role in the Windies success at both the 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cups in Sri Lanka and India respectively with his mystery deliveries delivered primarily in the opening Powerplay overs.
After watching Shamsi up close during the Proteas recent series win over the Windies in the Caribbean, the 40-year-old was impressed with the way Shamsi could bowl at different stages of the innings.
"When it comes to the best spinner at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, it's hard to look past Tabraiz Shamsi," Badree wrote in his ICC column.
"As a left-armer, he poses a significant challenge for batters. Left-arm wrist spinners are rare in international cricket - he's very consistent, can turn the ball both ways and has tremendous control.
"I saw him recently in the Caribbean when South Africa played the West Indies and he was able to spin webs around the West Indian batters. He has the ability to bowl in different phases of the game, too, which is important.
"His captain Temba Bavuma will be able to call on him to deliver at any time in the innings and that's worth its weight in gold."
Badree believed the conditions in the desert heat of the UAE will favour the spinners.
"Spin is always important and has an integral role in T20 cricket - we've seen that in previous editions of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
It's being played in the UAE and Oman, where we have traditionally come to expect slow conditions. I foresee spinners having a big impact in this tournament. Because of the heat factor and the dry nature of the surfaces, you always expect spinners to do well. The slow nature of the pitches also helps with that.
"Spinners will do particularly well in Dubai, as well as in Sharjah, which give you more of an opportunity. They will prosper less in Abu Dhabi because in my memory there is a lot of grass on the pitch there," Badree added.