Side Entry: Proteas – the future looks bright

Simnikiwe Xabanisa
Simnikiwe Xabanisa

Among the many things that have gone wrong at the Cricket World Cup, being beholden to the past has been one of the contributing factors to an underwhelming campaign.

With that in mind, here’s a squad of 15 that could do the job in India in 2023:

. Quinton de Kock (Titans, 26)

It’s hard to believe, but De Kock will be 30 in 2023 and going into his third World Cup. Having failed to reach his destructive best in both, the plan should be to surround him with more contributing batsmen.

. Janneman Malan (Cobras, 23)

The sheer weight of his runs in all formats, particularly white ball cricket, must be close to unhinging the door into the Proteas team.

. Temba Bavuma (Lions, 29)

Forget the injured or out-of-form players taken to England by the selectors, the biggest mistake they made was probably not giving Bavuma an extended audition for a top order spot in one-day cricket in the misguided belief he’s not a white ball player.

Aiden Markram (Titans, 24 – captain)

He may flatter to deceive with his attractive starts typically followed by unfathomable dismissals, but Markram is the real deal and a captain to boot.

. Rassie van der Dussen (Lions, 30)

Having been burnt by some of our mid-30s players, some may have issues with the fact that Van der Dussen will be 34 come the next World Cup. But having started his international career late, he has that Mike Hussey vibe about him.

. Wiaan Mulder (Lions, 21)

“Baby Kallis” was probably a little too young for this World Cup, but he should be ready for India. His ability as a top six batsman should also ease all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo’s burden.

. Sinethemba Qeshile (Warriors, 20)

In his first full season as a first-class cricketer, Qeshile has shown the kind of calm and temperament sorely lacking at the World Cup at the moment. He’s also already better than average at pacing a run chase.

Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins, 23)

One of the few Proteas who hasn’t been overawed by the World Cup, he should be a beast of a cricketer by the next one.

. Kagiso Rabada (Lions, 24)

The challenge with this once-in-a-generation fast bowler is managing him. The problem with Rabada is that he is as much of a workaholic off the pitch as he is on it. That’s why he’ll always be a risk for injury or burnout.

. Lungi Ngidi (Titans, 23) or Anrich Nortje (Warriors, 25)

The two are bracketed because their careers are punctuated by injury, meaning only one of them can make it to the next World Cup.

. Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans, 29)

With Imran Tahir gone, “Shammo” should revel in being out of his shadow and thrive when given the responsibility as the team’s go-to wrist-spinner.

. Matthew Breetzke (Warriors, 20)

The numbers don’t back his selection yet, but the signs that we have a potentially destructive batsman here were there in the Warriors’ strong runs in domestic white ball cricket.

. Lutho Sipamla (Warriors, 21)

Another youngster who skriks vir niks, the fast bowler should be a handful after a breakthrough season that saw him make his international T20 debut.

. Bjorn Fortuin (Lions, 24)

The left-arm spinner’s been around for a while, but not only has he become one with his talent this season, he’s also emerged as a useful lower-order batsman.

. Bryce Parsons (Lions, 18)

Still at school, the South African Under-19 captain is showing blockbuster promise as a hard-hitting top six batsman and a left-arm spinner.

. Coach: Enoch Nkwe (Lions, 36)

This choice may smack of a bit of flavour of the month-ism given his three titles this season, but Nkwe has the lack of mercury needed to guide a basket case country like ours.

. Follow me on Twitter @simxabanisa

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