Temba Bavuma to lead South Africa in T20 World Cup, du Plessis not picked

The T20 World Cup will be Temba Bavuma’s first major tournament as South Africa’s captain as he leads a 15-strong South Africa squad chosen to participate in the tournament.

Faf du Plessis and Imran Tahir do not find a spot in the squad. Du Plessis retired from Test cricket in February this year to focus on white-ball cricket, but hasn’t played a limited-overs international since December, 2020. He did play the first leg of the IPL, though, and excelled, scoring 320 runs in seven matches for Chennai Super Kings at 64.

Chris Morris, the all-rounder, has also not been picked.

CSA announced that the squad playing the three-match T20 series in Sri Lanka from September 10-14 will be the same as the one selected for the T20 World Cup, except for fast bowler Lungi Ngidi. CSA said, “[Ngidi] has joined his IPL team, the Chennai Super Kings, to complete the CSA return to play protocols and to acclimatise to the conditions of the UAE before the start of that tournament.”

Temba Bavuma is currently nursing a finger injury and in his absence, South Africa will be led by Keshav Maharaj in the T20 series in Sri Lanka. Bavuma is expected to be fit in time for the T20 World Cup.

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Commenting on the T20 World Cup squad, CSA convener of selectors, Victor Mpitsang, said, “We are confident that we have a well-balanced and well thought out World Cup squad, with reserve players that are more than capable and up to the job if called up for it. The team has blossomed well under the leadership of Temba Bavuma and we look forward to seeing his return to the international stage once he is fully recovered from injury.

“On behalf of the National Selection Panel, I would like to wish Temba and coach, Mark Boucher all of the very best as the team continues to finalise its preparation in Sri Lanka and as Temba looks to make a full recovery from his injury.”

Mpitsang said the inclusion of Maharaj provides the team with an excellent spin option and a leader.

“Kesh is an excellent leader. He has the backing of the team and us as a Panel. He has more than proven his leadership skills in the Dolphins set up and reinforced our good decision during the ODI series against Sri Lanka which ended on Tuesday.

“His exemplary captaincy is what we believe is in the best interests of the team’s stability during this last international series that the team gets to play ahead of the World Cup.”

Squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Keshav Maharaj, Quinton de Kock (wk), Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.

Travelling Reserves: Andile Phehlukwayo, George Linde, Lizaad Williams.

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