Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

T20 World Cup: How will the Proteas line up for Nepal?

The Proteas will have to weigh up a few things before making a decision on whether to change up their starting 11 for the Nepal clash.

The Proteas have some tough decisions to make ahead of their final T20 World Cup pool match against Nepal at Arnos Vale Stadium in Kingstown, Saint Vincent early on Saturday morning, despite coach Rob Walter saying late Wednesday he wouldn’t be making too many changes to his team.

Ordinarily a game against minnows would be the ideal opportunity to freshen up the squad and give the reserve players that have been watching the tournament from the sidelines a run ahead of the next stage of the competition.

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But the Proteas and Walter will have to weigh up a few things before making a decision on whether to change up their starting 11 for the Nepal clash.

The first thing to consider is that none of their wins have been emphatic, with them struggling to chase down low scores in all three of their games so far.

Big win

So their build-up to the Super Eight phase hasn’t been ideal and the coaching staff may want their frontliners to pick up a big win to build confidence and take into the next phase.

The main reason for their struggles at the World Cup so far has been the disastrous form of their top order who have left them in early trouble in each match they have played.

Opener Quinton de Kock, who came into the tournament in poor form, has found the going tough with scores of 20, zero and 18, while his opening partner Reeza Hendricks has been even worse with scores of four, three and zero.

Captain Aiden Markram also battled towards the end of the IPL and has been unable to rediscover his touch with the bat yet with scores of 12, zero and four.

Tristan Stubbs has had a mixed tournament with fighting scores of 13 and 33 blighted by a duck in the last game, while Heinrich Klaasen has been decent with a lowest score of four, but important innings of 19no and 46 helping his cause.

Miller time

David Miller has been the star batter for the Proteas with him scoring an unbeaten six, 59 not out and 29 in his three innings to date.

So it will be interesting to see if the Proteas management will look to give Ryan Rickelton a go against Nepal, or back the top order to try rediscover their form.

Where the Proteas may look to rotate things is with the bowling department, who have been superb over the competition so far.

Anrich Nortje and Ottneil Baartman have been the standouts, while Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen have all been solid.

It thus wouldn’t come as a surprise if Gerald Coetzee, Tabraiz Shamsi and Bjorn Fortuin are all unleashed against Nepal to give them some game time and give the regulars a bit of a rest.

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