South Africa have endured mixed fortunes of late across all formats of the game. From being the No 1 Test team in the world, which included the feat of being unbeaten over nine years in overseas Test series, the Proteas lost back to back Test series against India away and later at home against England.
Also read: IPL 2016 Schedule, venue details
Their fortunes in the shorter formats have been slightly better with ODI and T20 series victories over the above two countries though it did lose the recent 3-match T20 series against Australia at home after having won the opening tie. Much like the opposition, it is the bowling department that gives South Africa reasons to worry as they head into the 2016 World T20 in search of that elusive maiden ICC trophy.
The experiment of moving AB de Villiers to open the batting with a view of giving their premier batsman maximum deliveries to play has not gone according to plan so far. However, the 32-year-old is someone who is beyond any limitation and as we all know, he loves playing in India and he could well and truly set the tournament on fire with his fine array of strokeplay.
Quinton de Kock refound his scoring touch during the tour to India and the wicketkeeper-batsman has not looked back since. Hashim Amla too made a strong comeback in the third T20 against Australia remaining unbeaten on 97 after being dropped from the team for the opening two matches, proving why he needs to be a regular in the playing eleven.
Experienced batting line-up
The top three thus looks as strong as any team in the tournament thus giving them a very good chance to make quick-fire starts. With IPL regulars Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy and David Miller to follow, the Proteas have their batting department well and truly sorted out.
The latter is in superb touch off late and can provide the final push towards the slog overs along with all-rounders Chris Morris and David Wiese.
Bowling line-up is a bit tricky
Dale Steyn, the pace bowling spearhead is just back from injury and it is too early to tell how much of an impact he can make in the tournament. Imran Tahir has found the going a little tough in India over the years and could find a similar fate waiting for him during the 10-team event as well.
The omission of Morne Morkel did surprise a few, especially considering his experience of playing in the IPL, meaning young Kagiso Rabada will have extra responsibility on his shoulders along with the other medium pacers. He had a good time in India last time around and surprised quite a few people with his performances on the slow pitches in India and could well go on to repeat the feat.
How much part Aaron Phangiso, who was recently reported for suspect action, gets to play in the tournament is anybody’s guess but if South Africa are to progress further in the tournament their spin department will definitely have to step up and support the batsmen.
Overall, South Africa has a good mix of experience and youth with players suited for the T20 format but as always, whether they will be able to handle and make it through the pressure moments in the big matches will ultimately decide their fate.
South African squad for 2016 T20 World Cup
Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Jean-Paul Duminy, David Miller, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee Rossouw, David Wiese, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, AB de Villiers, Imran Tahir, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn.