"Favourites, Dark Horses, Hot Contenders" are typically used when describing South Africa before every big event. They are always the talk of the town on the big stage surrounded by superstars and everyone thinks this is their time. There was always a strong South African team, but they never tasted gold in the last three decades except for 1998, when Jacques Kallis' individual brilliance won them the inaugural ICC knockout trophy. SA somehow fall short of the line no matter what happens, whether it's getting screwed by the DLS farce in the 1992 semi-finals, miscalculating the score in 2003, or result of some horrible fielding in 2015. This begs the question has their time finally arrived ?
The reason that they may cross the line and win the wc this time is the composition of the side. This is probably their best ever 15 fieleded in a t20 wc. A major upgrade from the previous tournamnets where they had Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla opening the batting once upon a time. They have a coach in Mark Boucher who has delivered results in the past year and a half and a calm leader in Bavuma who has delivered results with the Lions and won them a couple of trophies.
Since mid 2021, SA won 3-2 in WI, a series win in Ireland, Completed a whitewash in SL and won 4 out of their 5 games in t20 WC after agonizingly falling short of NRR. They continued their good gorm by drawing a series 2-2 in India and defeated Eng in their own backyard 2-1. They ended their UK tour by a 2-0 win against Ireland. They suffered a major blow with RVD sustaining an injury during the test series and he will be a major miss on those Australian wkts. SA have Reeza Hendricks as a back up opener who has scored 296 runs at a SR of 142 in last 5 outings for the national side. South Africa's USP is their batting line up from 3-7.
The Proteas have been placed in Group B along with India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. With Lungi, Nortje and Rabada on the pace front coupled with one of the smartest cricketing minds in Keshava Maharaj and Tabreiz Shamsi in the spin department, it offers Bavuma too many options, they have the best chance of creating history.
Regis Chakabva, Craig Ervine, Wesley Madhevere, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Richard Ngarava, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzaraba
Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma (c), Rilee Rossouw, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Anrich Nortje Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada.
Bellerive Oval, Hobart
Total matches 10
Matches won batting first 5
Matches won bowling first 5
Average 1st Inns scores 161
Average 2nd Inns scores 148
Highest total recorded 213/4 (20 Ov) by AUS vs ENG
Lowest total recorded 118/10 (18.3 Ov) by WI vs SCO
Highest score chased 180/4 (19 Ov) by IRE vs SCO
Lowest score defended 153/7 (20 Ov) by WI vs ZIM
Head to Head
SA leads by 5-0
Batting 1st: 2-0
Batting 2nd: 3-0
Highest run scorer - JP Duminy (164)
Highest wk taker - Imran Tahir (5)
(Last 5 matches)
SA: W W L L W
ZIM: L W W L W
(Last 5 innings)
Key players & Fantasy picks
In March 2021, Markram had just played a few t20Is before being named as an injury replacement for a four-match series against Pakistan. It was a turning point in his career, and Markram seized the opportunity with both hands, scoring 179 runs at an impressive SR of 182. Since that series, he has scored 729 runs at a SR of 151 maintaining a healthy average of 45. Batting at 4 or below he has more than 400 runs in front of his name at a SR of 143 making him one of the best middle order batters going around. Owing to these performances he was picked by Punjab Kings in the 2nd half of 2021 and in In February 2022, he was bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the auction for the 2022 Indian Premier League tournament. Along with being a capable part-time bowler who can regularly bowl in powerplays, Markram is special for his ability to play spin, something that is essential for the modern T20 batter.
A side's lower middle order and a finisher are the most difficult and responsible positions to fill in T20is. It is one of the toughest jobs and it is not an easy thing to swing your bat right away. It is very important to have skilled batters because games are often made and broken in the final phases. And, who else than David Miller is the perfect candidate for the job currently. Miller is one of the greatest finishers this format has probably seen with tons of experience under his belt. He has over 1.6K runs batting at 5 or below at a SR of 139 with 71 sixes. No one has scored more runs than him at a better SR. If we apply the same parameters, he has over 1.8K runs at a SR of 141 in IPL. Only Kieron Pollard has scored more runs than him at a better SR. We saw the second coming of David Miller in this IPL, despite playing just 28 games from 2017-21. He has restructured the way he plays, especially against spin, after admitting he didn't give himself enough time to get his eye in. The testimony of his father and childhood coach further supported this. He pulled of memorable chases that were outside GT's grasps like 94* off 51 against CSK, 39* off 24 against RCB, 68* off 38 against RR in Qualifier 1.
Raza is the leading run getter with 652 runs and highest wicket taker 20 wickets for Zimbabwe in T20Is in 2022. It has been a memorable year for him in white cricket with performances in ODIs against India and Australia recently. He was the go to man for Zimbabwe in the qualifiers with 82(48) against Ireland, 40(23) against Scotland and picked 5 wkts at an economy of 6. SA have lot of left handers in their top 7 and Raza's off spin could come handy
SA's opening duo have been short of runs and were found wanting against the moving ball on many occasions. Muzarabani's spell along with Chatara and Ngarava could spell fresh trouble for the proteas early on in their innings