Keshav Manaraj Is In The South Africa Team

Keshav Maharaj has made an astonishing recovery from an Achilles’ tendon rupture sustained in March and has secured a spot in South Africa’s 15-member squad for the upcoming ODI World Cup.

The injury, suffered during a Test match against West Indies in March, initially indicated a lengthy absence from the game for Maharaj. However, he made a swift return to action during South Africa’s final T20I against Australia over the weekend, proving his fitness for the impending World Cup. Expected to join Tabraiz Shamsi as one of the team’s frontline spinners, Maharaj might be complemented by Aiden Markram’s offspin during matches in India.

His inclusion in the squad meant no place for Bjorn Fortuin, despite Fortuin’s recent involvement in South Africa’s white-ball squads. The South African team adhered to their strategy of bolstering the squad with pace bowlers, including six in the roster. Leading this pack is Kagiso Rabada, supported by Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Marco Jansen, Sisanda Magala (recovering from a knee injury), and Gerald Coetzee, preferred over Wayne Parnell or an additional batter, despite Coetzee having only two ODI caps to his credit.

Rob Walter, South Africa’s white-ball coach, expressed the team’s preference for having four high-quality fast bowlers on the field most times. Tough decisions were made, notably omitting Parnell, but Walter justified Coetzee’s selection for his extra pace. The batting lineup boasts the likes of captain Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (set to retire from ODIs after the tournament), Rassie van der Dussen, along with IPL-experienced players like Markram, Heinrich Klaasen, and David Miller. Reeza Hendricks serves as the reserve, despite his excellent form in T20Is.

Walter urged patience for promising players who haven’t yet shone brightly at the international level. He defended the selection choices, emphasizing the ODI team’s consistent performance, which justified the retention of established names.

Despite Ngidi’s recent struggles in T20Is, Walter remains confident in his abilities for the 50-over format, especially considering Ngidi’s experience in India with Chennai Super Kings. The coach anticipates less spin-friendly conditions at the World Cup, except when facing India.

South Africa’s upcoming series against Australia, comprising five ODIs, will feature the same squad heading to the World Cup, along with Fortuin. Players like Brevis, Parnell, and Stubbs, initially part of the squad, have been released to prepare for the domestic one-day cup, commencing on September 16.


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