Kallis back in T20 frame
JACQUES Kallis is among 30 players named in South Africa’s provisional squad for the ICC World T20, in Sri Lanka, in September.
The 36-year-old Kallis has been considered surplus to the Proteas’ needs in T20 cricket but recent showings, particularly with the ball, in the Indian Premier League should ensure the legendary allrounder has another crack at winning an elusive ICC trophy.
He made his return to the South African T20 team in March this year for a single match against India, having missed 11 games between May 2010 and February this year.
South Africa’s poor T20 performances during the ill-timed tour of Zimbabwe a few weeks ago will also have given the selectors food for thought.
The side which toured Zimbabwe was young and missed AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Morné Morkel and Johan Botha, and the results showed just that as they lost three of their five matches against the hosts and Bangladesh.
South Africa will be based in the southern Sri Lankan coastal port of Hambantota for the World T20, along with Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.
Hambantota has a surface where batsmen have to grind out runs and bowlers need to vary the pace. Kallis is effective at both and will form an integral part of the team at the top of the order and bowling in the middle overs.
Graeme Smith, who relinquished the T20 and ODI captaincy to De Villiers, has also been named in the provisional squad but may struggle to make the final 15 when it is announced in mid-August.
“I believe this squad shows just how much depth there is in South African cricket,” said CSA selection boss Andrew Hudson. “It augurs extremely well both for this tournament as well as the road ahead.”
The provisional squad features fringe players Chris Morris, Farhaan Berhardien, Marchant de Lange, Reeza Hendricks, Aaron Phangiso and Dane Vilas. However, those six may struggle to dislodge some experienced players who at various stages have proved they have what it takes to succeed at the top level.
The 30-man squad is: AB de Villiers (Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (Dolphins), Farhaan Behardien (Titans), Johan Botha (Redbacks), Marchant de Lange (Titans), JP Duminy (Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Titans), Reeza Hendricks (Knights), Imran Tahir (Lions), Colin Ingram (Warriors), Jacques Kallis (Cobras), Rory Kleinveldt (Cobras), Richard Levi (Cobras), Ryan McLaren (Knights), David Miller (Dolphins), Albie Morkel (Titans), Morne Morkel (Titans), Chris Morris (Lions), Justin Ontong (Cobras), Wayne Parnell (Warriors), Alviro Petersen (Lions), Robin Peterson (Cobras), Aaron Phangiso (Lions), Graeme Smith (Cobras), Dale Steyn (Cobras), Rusty Theron (Warriors), Lonwabo Tsotsobe ( Dolphins), Roelof van der Merwe (Titans), Morne van Wyk (Knights), Dane Vilas (Cobras).
Meanwhile, The Gabba in Brisbane will host South Africa’s test side for the first time since 1963 when they tour Australia in November and December for a three-match test series.
In that last match played in Brisbane between the two test nations, Australia, led by Richie Benaud, drew with a South African team featuring six debutantes including left-handed batting legend Graeme Pollock.
The itinerary is: First test, November 9-13, The Gabba, Brisbane; Second test: November 22-26, Adelaide Oval; Third test: November 30-December 4, Waca, Perth