Home Sport Cricket Proteas’ World Cup selection poser could be solved with Windies trip

Proteas’ World Cup selection poser could be solved with Windies trip

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Rob Walter and his men go head-to-head against former T20 champions, the West Indies, in a short series that will give the Proteas much-needed preparation with the first fixture of this year’s T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka in just over two weeks.

Reeza Hendricks of the Lions during the 2024 CSA T20 match between Lions and Titans at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on the 15 March 2024. Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

Obakeng Meletse

The Proteas will make the trip to the white sandy beaches and the brilliant blue waters of the Caribbean this week as they begin the road to yet another attempt to lift an ICC World Cup trophy.

Rob Walter and his men go head-to-head against former T20 champions, the West Indies, in a short series of three matches. More importantly, it will give the Proteas much-needed preparation with the first fixture of this year’s T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka in just over two weeks.

With the majority of the Proteas World Cup squad plying their trade in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the touring squad was initially made up of players based in South Africa, with the aim to expose them to international cricket, as well as give those selected for the World Cup much-needed preparation for the tournament.

The IPL trio of Anrich Nortje, Quinton de Kock and Gerald Coetzee joined up with the squad in the West Indies and now the tour will potentially provide answers to some crucial questions as the fixture against Sri Lanka approaches on June 3.

The omission of Temba Bavuma from the final 15-man squad has left Quinton de Kock without an opening partner. Ryan Rickelton and Reeza Hendricks have been on song as a partnership in the recently concluded CSA T20 Challenge for the champions, the Lions.

The pair smashed their way to four opening half-century stands and a match-winning stand of 151 runs off 84 balls against Western Province.

De Kock returns to national duty from an IPL stint which was far from his best. The Lucknow Super Giants failed to make the play-offs and the former South African captain played 11 matches and only managed to score 250 runs, including three half-centuries, at an average of 22, striking at 131.40.

De Kock has fallen behind the Lions pair based on form.

Ottniel Baartman could possibly be on the cards to make his Proteas debut during the series after an impressive showing in the last two editions of the SA20. The 31-year-old has had two impressive SA20 campaigns and has a chance to stake a claim for a spot in the World Cup 11 with an impressive showing against the West Indies.

Nortje, on the other hand, has been short of game time with the Delhi Capitals and his timely return could be an opportunity to address his shortfalls with competition for places getting tight.

Kagiso Rabada and Gerald Coetzee are leading the way and are almost guaranteed to lead the attack both in the series and the World Cup, but with the nature of the Caribbean wickets offering slow turn, playing two spinners could well be on the cards as Walter tries out a few combinations.

FIXTURES

Thursday: vs West Indies @ Sabina Park, Kingston, 9pm

Saturday: vs West Indies @ Sabina Park, Kingston, 9pm

Sunday: vs West Indies @ Sabina Park, Kingston, 9pm

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