A team with balance in talent and demographics

21 April 2019 - 00:00 By Sunday Times

After an anxious month, Cricket SA on Thursday revealed the names of the 15 players who will represent the country at the World Cup in England, and the team was well received by the public. T
he team is largely representative of the demographics of the country with three black African players, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo and Lungi Ngidi; Indian players Hashim Amla, Tabraiz Shamsi and Imran Tahir; JP Duminy, who is coloured; and eight who are white - the captain Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje and Dwaine Pretorius. All were picked on merit.
In the opening match, against England at the Oval on May 30, the Proteas' starting line-up is likely to have six black players in the XI - Duminy, Phehlukwayo, Amla, Rabada, Ngidi and Tahir.
Coach Ottis Gibson and the team will be going all out to win this World Cup and end many years of falling just short at previous tournaments.
The selectors have picked a well-balanced team that includes experienced players Du Plessis, Amla, Duminy, De Kock, Steyn and Miller. Each has played more that 100 one-day internationals. The team also has players of undoubted potential.Tahir, who will be the first-choice spinner, will play his 100th international at the tournament. He has played 98 internationals and taken 162 wickets.The biggest talking point since the team was announced has been the inclusion of long-time top-order batsman Amla. The 36-year-old comes not only with experience but also with a calming influence on his teammates.Amla has played in two World Cups and in 174 one-day internationals, in which he scored 7,910 runs at an impressive average of 46.64. He is likely to open the batting with De Kock.Amla's return to the national team was bad news for promising Reeza Hendricks, who has been sacrificed, but the Lions' top-order batsman will have more chances in the future.

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