"I have realized for the first time that this team has only 1 proper all-rounder" - Aakash Chopra on South Africa's 2024 T20 WC clash vs Sri Lanka

New Zealand v South Africa: Warm Up - ICC Men
South Africa will hope to win their maiden T20 World Cup.

Aakash Chopra has noted that South Africa have an explosive batting unit heading into their 2024 T20 World Cup opener against Sri Lanka in New York on Monday, June 3. However, he acknowledged that never before did he realize that the Proteas have only one proper all-rounder in their mix.

South Africa are placed in Group D alongside Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and the Netherlands. They failed to reach the semi-finals in the last edition, suffering a shock defeat against the Dutch in their final group game, and will want to give a better account of themselves this time.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra opined that South Africa shouldn't have too many selection issues if they don't have to stick to a color quota despite Marco Jansen being the only proper all-rounder in their setup.

"South Africa could be a very explosive team. If the color quota is not taken too seriously and is balanced over a period of time, they won't have many tough questions. Then Tristan Stubbs, Gerald Coetzee, Anrich Nortje - all of them can play. The team is good, where either Reeza Hendricks or Ryan Rickelton with Quinton de Kock at the start," he elaborated (7:50).
"After that, you will see Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs and Aiden Markram the captain. They will have Marco Jansen as well. I have realized for the first time that this team has only one proper all-rounder, that is Marco Jansen. They have two spin-bowling options in the form of Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj," the former India opener added.
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Jansen wasn't at his best in IPL 2024, managing just one wicket at an economy rate of 12.90 in three games. However, the Proteas might have to include him in the playing XI to have a decent batting option at No. 7.


"I think they will come out all guns blazing" - Aakash Chopra on South Africa's likely approach

David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen are two of the explosive batters in South Africa's lineup.
David Miller and Heinrich Klaasen are two of the explosive batters in South Africa's lineup.

Aakash Chopra expects South Africa to bring their destructive game to the fore.

"I feel this will be a good match. This will not be a straightforward match. History troubles them a little. When history troubles you, you try to do something different. I think they will come out all guns blazing. They will try to play a different brand of cricket, 200-225 kind of cricket, which no one else might be playing here," he reasoned (8:45).

The reputed commentator chose Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, and Tabraiz Shamsi as the Proteas players in focus in Monday's game.

"In batting, from South Africa's side, I will go with Heinrich Klaasen one more time, that how he plays? I feel Markram can do slightly better in the World Cup. So that can be an important area. In bowling, Tabraiz Shamsi from their side," Chopra said.

The New York pitch assisted the seamers in India's warm-up game against Bangladesh. South Africa could opt to play four seamers and leave out Shamsi in such a scenario.

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Edited by Parag Jain
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