Relevant experience thin in SA’s T20 squad for India
How much is relevant experience worth? South Africa should find out during their men’s T20 series in India next month.
Quinton de Kock‚ David Miller and Kagiso Rabada are the only members of the squad who have played in India in that format at international level.
The 14 selected have played 164 Indian Premier League (IPL) games‚ but eight have never appeared in the competition and only 30 of those collective caps do not belong to De Kock or Miller.
And the quality of the challenge that De Kock’s team will face is likely to be higher than what’s needed to compete in the IPL.
The better news is that South Africa have won four of the six completed T20s they have played in India.
They beat the home side by seven and six wickets in October 2015‚ but crashed out of the 2016 World T20 without reaching the knockout stage by losing two — to England and West Indies — of their four group matches.
De Kock was in the 2015 squad but did not play in either game‚ but he was South Africa’s top run-scorer in the T20 World Cup.
Miller had only one innings in 2015‚ scoring an unbeaten 10‚ and could manage only 48 runs in three innings a year later.
Rabada took 1/50 in his eight overs almost four years ago‚ and 5/125 in 11.4 at the World T20.
None of which might mean much when South Africa arrive in India for a series that runs from September 15 to 22.
But it bears pointing out that there were only three changes from the 16 originally picked for the 2015 rubber compared to the 15 that went to the World T20 a few months later.
Much has changed since then‚ including 11 of the 14 De Kock will lead next month.
But experience still counts for plenty and winning is the only thing that will matter.