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Cricket South Africa, today unveiled the list of 30 probables for the much awaited T20 World Championship slated to kick-off in Sri Lanka in September and October. The preliminary squad is illuminated by the return of senior pros, Jacques Kallis and Grame Smith. Ace all-rounder, Jacques Kallis was instrumental in Kolkata Knight Riders' title victory in the cash-rich Indian Premier League, scoring 409 runs and scalping 15 wickets. Initially considered a misfit in the T20 format, Kallis has retooled his game and adapted himself to the challenges of the thrill-a-minute version. Test captain, Grame Smith, who was axed for the three match T20 series against New Zealand earlier this year, has also comeback to the Proteas T20 set up. Smith's experience and technical expertise will do South Africa a world of good.
South Africa, placed in Group-C along with Sri Lanka and minnows Zimbabwae, will be keen to put their best foot forward and shed their proverbial choker's tag. The squad also features Roelof van der Merwe, who last represented South Africa in 2010 in the West Indies. The jack-in-the box player is perfectly suited for T20 entertainment. South Africa's army of all-rounders make the side deadly dangerous. Multi-dimensional cricketers are a precious asset, more so in T20s. Albie Morkel, resembling a viking has the ability to mow down bowlers with nonchalance besides swinging the ball efficiently. JP Duminy, Rory Kleinveldt, Wayne Parnell, Rusty Theron, Robin Peterson, Johan Botha and Justin Ontong complete the large pool of all-rounders.
Faf du Plessis' exploits in the IPL will stand him in good stead. The hallmark of his batsmanship is nimble footwork. Richard Levi, the fastest centurion in T20s will induce trouser-soiling, spit-drying fear in the hearts of the opposition if he gets going. Levi is expected to open the batting with the ice-cool Hashim Amla. Colin Ingram, oozing talent, is an integral member of the middle order.
Keeping in view, the slow-low pitches in Sri Lanka four spinners have been named in the squad - Johan Botha, Robin Peterson, Roelof van der Merwe and leggie Imran Tahir. As usual, speed devil, Dale Steyn will spearhead the attack. There is heavy artillery in Lonwabo Tsotsobe's accuracy and Marchant de Lange's raw pace as well.
Rookies in the team include Highveld Lions slow bowler, Aaron Phangiso and Chervolet Knights batsman, Reeza Hendricks. Captain AB de Villiers is likely to don the wicket-keeping gloves in order to inject balance into the team. Morne van Wyk and Dane Vilas are the stand-by keepers in case of an emergency.
"I believe this squad shows how much depth there is in South African cricket" commented CSA selection convener Andrew Hudson. "It augurs extremely well for this tournament as well as the road ahead".
The squad will be cut short to 15 next month.
AB de Villiers (Nashua Titans, capt)
Hashim Amla (Sunfoil Dolphins)
Farhaan Behardien (Nashua Titans)
Johan Botha (Chevrolet Warriors)
Marchant de Lange (Nashua Titans)
JP Duminy (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)
Faf du Plessis (Nashua Titans)
Reeza Hendricks (Chevrolet Knights)
Imran Tahir (bizhub Highveld Lions)
Colin Ingram (Chevrolet Warriors)
Jacques Kallis (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)
Rory Kleinveldt (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)
Richard Levi (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)
Ryan McLaren (Chevrolet Knights)
David Miller (Sunfoil Dolphins)
Albie Morkel (Nashua Titans)
Morne Morkel(Nashua Titans)
Chris Morris (bizhub Highveld Lions)
Justin Ontong (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)
Wayne Parnell (Chevrolet Warriors)
Alviro Petersen (bizhub Highveld Lions)
Robin Peterson (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)
Aaron Phangiso (bizhub Highveld Lions)
Graeme Smith (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)
Dale Steyn (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)
Rusty Theron (Chevrolet Warriors)
Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Sunfoil Dolphins)
Roelof van der Merwe (Nashua Titans)
Morne van Wyk (Chevrolet Knights)
Dane Vilas (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras)
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