- AB de Villiers (captain)
- Hashim Amla
- Farhaan Behardien
- Johan Botha
- JP Duminy
- Francois du Plessis
- Jacques Kallis
- Richard Levi
- Albie Morkel
- Morne Morkel
- Justin Ontong
- Wayne Parnell
- Robin Peterson
- Dale Steyn
- Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
World T20 2012: South Africa Team Preview
South Africa are one of the favourites for the T20 World Cup in 2012 as they have one of the strongest all round squads in which some of the biggest names in T20 cricket reside, including captain AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy, the Morkel brothers and Dale Styen.
The South African bowling attack does not lack flare and power. It would have been an almost perfect combination had the tournament been played in England or another country where seamers get some help and bounce. However, as far as the Sri Lankan conditions are concerned, this bowling attack should be a competitive one, not a dominating one.
As far as pace bowling is concerned, South Africa possesses probably the best seamers in modern day cricket. The likes of Dale Steyn, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell and Lonwabo Tsotsobe are more than enough to cause shudders in the opposition’s dressing room.
Lonwabo Tsotsobe is currently ranked the No. 1 T20 bowler and his stats speak for him. The pace of Dale Steyn and the height of Morne Morkel are weapons that these bowlers would enjoy in the slow, low and flat tracks of Sri Lanka.
The main problem in this squad seems to be in the spin bowling department. The question that the South African selectors have to answer is that will Johan Botha and Robin Peterson be enough to fulfill the spin requirements in Sri Lanka? Both spinners are experienced and have done well in T20 cricket.
However, both these players did not enjoy a good IPL season this year. Neither of these players has been known to spin the ball much. Yet, South Africa could not have done differently because their only other choice could have been to add the erratic Leg-spinner Imran Tahir, whose recent form has not been impressive.
In the batting, South Africa simply have a great line up. Their likely opening partnership of Levi and Amla combines wristy class and brute strength to great effect at the top while their possible number 3, Jacques Kallis (who makes his International T20 return for his farewell T20 bout), is a very successful batsman in the IPL, scoring 409 runs in this year's competition for eventual Champions Kolkata Knight Riders, the veteran all rounder scoring 69 from 49 balls in the final.
In the middle order, South Africa have perhaps the most destructive batsman outside the likes of Gayle and Sehwag: AB de Villiers. AB has all the shots, he has the power, he can play pace and spin equally well and he can keep wicket for good measure.
Later on in the order, expect the likes of Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy to rotate the strike with AB and generally build up for a late burst, which all three, along with Albie Morkel (maybe batting at 7) are very capable of. JP Duminy, in my opinion, will be especially important for the Proteas as his wily right arm off break could prove a very useful asset to have since South Africa's spin stocks are, to say the least, rather depleted beyond the likes of Botha and Petersen.
Batsmen who are likely to miss out include Farhaan Berhardien, the 28 year-old who has just 1 international T20 cap to his name, and Justin Ontong, the veteran T20 all rounder. Overall, the South African batting line-up looks set for all conditions and would be very hard to run through without at least one big gun getting a significant score.
Hence, under the circumstances, I believe that South Africa have selected the best possible T20 squad. But will this squad rise to the expectations? That is a question only time will answer.