Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist


OPINION: Proteas have the batters to get the job done at T20 World Cup

In a format which favours the batters, the SA squad's line-up will be key to their World Cup campaign.


With a list of world-class batters in the national squad, the biggest problem for Proteas coach Rob Walter will not be which of them to select for T20 World Cup games next month, but rather which of them to leave out. And it’s a good problem to have.

Though they won’t have much in terms of back-up, with only seven specialist batters in the squad — and they will need to call up reinforcements if they pick up any injuries – the batting unit is formidable at full strength.

With all-rounder Marco Jansen likely to bat at number seven (in standard circumstances) that leaves six spots for batters in each World Cup game, and though they will be able to rotate during the tournament, at least one specialist batter will generally be left sitting out.

Match-winning ability

Conditions and the opposition will be the only real factors for Walter to consider, in determining who to include in each game, with every player possessing match-winning capabilities.

At the top of the order, the Proteas have Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Ryan Rickelton and captain Aiden Markram who can all potentially get them off to a good start, and in the middle Walter can select from Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller and Tristan Stubbs.

So the question is whether he goes with three top-order specialists and three middle-order players, which would pack the team with big hitters, or rather opts for a slightly more cautious four-two split.

Either way, regardless of which players take the field, the SA batting line-up has the ability to get the job done.

All-round effort

Consistency, as always, will be important and every individual will have to perform if the national team are to challenge for the trophy and secure South Africa’s first senior World Cup title in any format.

And while Walter will face another conundrum in selecting the bowling unit for matches at next month’s T20 tournament in the West Indies and the US, in a format which favours the batters, the SA squad’s batting line-up will be key to their World Cup campaign.

They have the potential to beat any team. Now we need them to stand up and deliver.

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Proteas cricket team Rob Walter T20 World Cup