ICC World Cup 2019: Probable first choice XI for South Africa
South Africa are widely considered the most unlucky team in the context of the cricket World Cup. Every year they come into the tournament as one of the hot favourites, but luck never favors them - their best finish so far is the semifinals.
This year they don't have the favourites tag mainly because of the retirement of AB de Villiers from international cricket. Many of their players including Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn and JP Duminy are playing the last World Cup of their career.
Here's a look at the preliminary squad and probable XI for South Africa at World Cup 2019:
Faf du Plessis (C), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock (WK), Hashim Amla, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, JP Duminy, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Chris Morris, Tabraiz Shamsi.
Despite his dip in form in recent years, Hashim Amla will likely open the innings for SA, along with Quinton de Kock. De Kock has scored three fifties and one century in the last five ODIs he has played.
Aiden Markram has not made use of the opportunities given to him at the international level. However, the SA management trust his experience at the domestic level and he will be their batsman at one down. Skipper Faf du Plessis will follow him at No: 4.
JP Duminy will bat at No: 5; he is expected to play the role of their 6th bowler too. David Miller will bat at the No: 6 position, and at No: 7 they will have the all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.
South Africa will likely stick with three fast bowlers - Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi. Imran Tahir will be the only spinner.
Possible XI: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis (c), JP Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.
If Markram fails to find runs, SA could try replacing him with Rassie van der Dussen. Van der Dussen has played only 9 ODIs but has already scored four fifties and averages 88.25.
Another possible change that SA could make is in the all-rounder spot. Phehlukwayo is the preferred choice of the management here. but if he fails, they have the option of trying Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius.