South Africa’s T20I squad: Aiden Markram (capt), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs.
ODIs Squad: Temba Bavuma (capt), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Tony de Zorzi, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Ryan Rickelton, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tristan Stubbs, Lizaad Williams, Rassie van der Dussen. For third ODI only: Aiden Markram, David Miller, Marco Jansen, Wayne Parnell.
Aiden Markram has been named the new T20I skipper for South Africa, and JP Duminy and Rory Kleinveldt have been hired by Cricket South Africa (CSA) as batting and bowling coaches, respectively, for the white-ball squad. Temba Bavuma, who was completely cut from the team for the upcoming home T20Is against the West Indies later this month, relinquishes the leadership to Markram. Unlike Kleinveldt, who has only been hired temporarily, Duminy has been given a regular position.
In the meantime, negotiations between the new white-ball coach, Rob Walter, and the former skipper Faf du Plessis ended in failure for the time being, and du Plessis was left off the T20I squad. In time, this might alter. Markram recently served as the head coach of Sunrisers Eastern Cape, which claimed the inaugural SA20 championship. Markram previously captained South Africa’s Under-19 team to victory at the World Cup in 2014. In addition, he has been named Sunrisers Hyderabad’s captain for the upcoming IPL, and Walter thinks Markram will naturally advance to the position of national leadership.
Over time, Aiden has proven himself to be a capable boss. Walter said at a press conference in Johannesburg that his recent success with the Sunrisers (Eastern Cape) sticks out, so it seemed like just a natural progression into the leadership of the national team. He has been there before, but I believe that since then, he has grown significantly as a performer and a leader.
This is Markram’s second time serving as skipper of the senior team; the first time was during an ODI series against India in February 2018 when du Plessis was out injured. Then, the captaincy had a negative impact on his batting, and in five games, he made 118 runs at a strike rate of 23.60. Bavuma recently relinquished his T20I captaincy to assume the reins of the Test team, but Walter said the path to the shortest format is still open to him. According to Walter, the choice was made solely on the basis of T20’s success. Working with him to get him back into the squad is my current responsibility. That will undoubtedly be one of our main priorities.
Bavuma struggled in the T20I format in 2022, reaching double digits just five times in 12 games. In the most recent T20 World Championships, in 2021 and 2022, he served as South Africa’s captain, but both times the team fell short of the semifinals. Bavuma also received censure for not being purchased at the SA20 auction and having a strike rate of 116.08 in T20 Internationals. Later on in the competition, after being signed as a replacement player by Sunrisers Eastern Cape, he hit the series-winning century against England in an ODI for the World Cup Super League.
The ODI squad was commanded by new Test coach Shukri Conrad, who introduced a more aggressive style of play that Walter endorses and will build on, while Walter was still in New Zealand at the time coaching Central Stags. According to Walter, the team should play similarly to how they did against England in the ODIs moving forward. Starting on March 16, South Africa will play three one-day internationals (ODIs) against the West Indies, which do not contribute towards World Cup Super League points. Fast bowlers Anrich Nortje (who is also out of the second Test with a groin niggle) and Kagiso Rabada were spared for those ODIs, but they will be back for the ensuing three T20Is. Tony de Zorzi, Tristan Stubbs, and fast spinner Gerald Coetzee all received their first ODI calls.
Dewald Brevis, a 19-year-old batting prodigy with experience in the IPL, CPL, and SA20, who was the top run-scorer at last year’s age-group World Cup, is still not allowed to play. Brevis should wait before making the move up, according to Walter. He belongs to a group of promising youth cricketers in the system. The search for opportunities that are below the Proteas level to offer him access to will be exactly the same for him as it is for the others, Walter said. The SA20 would have provided him with some understanding of the areas in which he needs to improve his game in addition to many other things.
Following the T20Is, South Africa will finish the summer with two World Cup Super League ODIs against Dutch that they absolutely must win. South Africa will automatically qualify for the 2023 World Cup if they win both games and Sri Lanka only manages to win one of their three matches against New Zealand. We still have to take care of our business after the Blackcaps complete their necessary tasks to win the series, Walter said. If we don’t take care of that first, everything else becomes meaningless.