Proteas T20 squad rewards domestic stars

2010-03-01 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s preliminary World Twenty20 squad has shown that, indeed, strong performances at domestic level can ultimately be rewarded.

The likes of Colin Ingram, Rusty Theron and Ethy Mbhalathi have often been overlooked when a hot new talent has come into the spotlight, but this season’s prolonged good form by several players has been rewarded — or at least acknowledged — by their inclusion in the 30-man squad that will still be trimmed.

The Dolphins have four players in the squad, with the fit-again Yusuf Abdulla joining regulars Loots Bosman and Hashim Amla.

The fourth and final Dolphin in the pot is young David Miller, whose form in the shorter formats this season was bound to catch the eye of the selectors at some stage.

With South Africa blessed with an array of attacking batsmen in the shorter formats, Miller will have his work cut out to board the plane to Barbados this time, but he is optimistic about the future.

“It’s a massive surprise, to be honest, and I am just really thrilled to be even mentioned alongside some of those names,” an excited Miller told The Witness on Saturday.

The recently completed ODI series in India gave the Proteas some valuable lessons ahead of some major dates in the next 12 months, and chief among them is the need for more variety in the Proteas’ game plan.

India, at full strength, showed a willingness to change the tempo of the game with different batsmen coming in at stages when they could most influence the game.

The dashing MS Dhoni is an excellent finisher, and he came to the party when needed.

Likewise, Dinesh Khartik was the perfect foil during Sachin Tendulkar’s 200 not out, and when he departed, Yusuf Pathan accelerated with great gusto.

South Africa’s reckless gamble of promoting Roelof van der Merwe was both foolish and unnecessary.

Quite what he was expected to do with his “pulls over point” and “slog sweeps to third man” is anyone’s guess, but it didn’t look pretty.

When it comes to choosing the final 15 for the trip to the Caribbean, the Proteas need to cut the crap and go with who is in form.

Reputations may look good on paper, but they simply don’t win you trophies.

The provisional squad is:

Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis , Yusuf Abdulla, Hashim Amla , Lungile Bosman, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Colin Ingram, Justin Kemp, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Ethy Mbhalati, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Morné Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Rusty Theron, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Roelof van der Merwe, Johannes van der Wath, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Morné van Wyk.

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