The South African Twenty20 side is announced tomorrow, and if the new convener of selectors sticks to his word it could be a tough team to predict. Strydom has said: “We tried to keep a balance between youth and experience, but we wanted to give the youngsters a go” as well as “We don’t want to expose the senior players too much to this format. We have a tough 18 months ahead of us, and we need to be aware of that,” and “You know you’re going to leave some very good players out, but you’ve just got to hope that the players you pick hit form at the right time,” when he commented on the side he has selected.
Assuming the players in Zimbabwe have not been considered, this leaves a squad of 21. Out of this squad the parameters are again changed, knowing there will be a minimum of 7 players of colour selected as well as the core which is in bold below.
Graeme Smith (Captain), Jacques Kallis (Vice-Captain), Loots Bosman,
Gulam Bodi, Mark Boucher, AB De Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Justin Kemp, Neil McKenzie, Albie Morkel, Morné Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Shaun Pollock, Dale Steyn, Roger Telemachus, Alfonso Thomas, Thandi Tshabalala and Johan van der Wath
Out of the remaining players, I assume Philander has made the squad along with JP Duminy, leaving just 5 places to the rest of the squad. Peterson and Bosman were in the World cup squad so more than likely will be in the equation. This leaves 3 spots available of which one will be for a player of colour. I am a fan of Alfonso Thomas, as I think he can bowl a lot better than most credit him for and can be successful at swinging a bat. However I just have a feeling that Thandi Tshabalala would have been taken to Zimbabwe if he wasn’t in the squad. I think Telemachus is a very good man for this format and should take Thandi’s/Peterson’s place
At this stage the squad meets the minimum quota necessary and leaves just two players to be decided upon. I think that on merit all the players of colour should be selected but the government/CSA have laid down the minimum amount of players of colour and thus players of colour are quota players regardless of talent.
I am interested in the selection of Bodi but believe its either Bosman or Bodi in the squad as they have similar batting styles. I think the Morkels will get the nod for the last two spots. If one is chosen it will be Morne to spear the attack and van der Wath might get a look in as the last man. I believe all of these players deserve a spot in the team and it shows the depth we have especially with many regulars in Zimbabwe.