South Africa announced their World Cup 2023 squad with opener Quinton de Kock announcing that it would be his last set of ODI appearances. The news came just minutes after Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed his place in the 15-member squad led by Temba Bavuma for the marquee tournament that begins on October 5.
The squad is a blend of experience and fresh faces, with eight players set to make their World Cup debut. These include Temba Bavuma, Anrich Nortje, Marco Jansen, Sisanda Magala, Aiden Markram, Keshav Maharaj, Reeza Hendricks, and Tabraiz Shamsi.
Gerald Coetzee, the new sensation in the pace department, has also made the cut. Despite having played only two ODIs, his control and speed have earned him a spot.
He joins Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Lungi Ngidi as the frontline quick bowlers. Marco Jansen is expected to contribute as an all-rounder, batting at No.7, while Sisanda Magala has been included for his expertise in death bowling—a department where South Africa has faced recent challenges.
Coetzee's selection came as a surprise, especially over an additional middle-order batter. Reeza Hendricks is the only batter outside the first-choice playing XI.
Players like Tristan Stubbs, Dewald Brevis, and Donavon Ferreira were also in the running but missed out as South Africa opted for a bowling-heavy strategy with as many as six pace bowling options in it.
Meanwhile, Quinton de Kock's participation was under a cloud due to his commitment to the Melbourne Renegades in the Australian Big Bash League (BBL). The BBL schedule clashes with South Africa's white-ball series against India in December, but it seems the issue has been resolved for now.
Head coach Rob Walter expressed optimism about the squad's composition. He highlighted the balance between experienced players and newcomers, stating that it would allow the team to adapt effectively to the conditions in India.
Walter has “utmost faith” that under Temba Bavuma's leadership, the squad will make South Africa proud.
“Similar to the level of experience, we have endeavoured to curate a well-balanced group of players and skill, that will allow us to effectively adapt to the conditions in India,” Walter said at the squad announcement.
“Under the leadership of Temba and the senior group, I have the utmost faith this squad will make South Africa proud.”
SA's World Cup 2023 squad is a calculated mix of seasoned players and exciting new talents. With de Kock's farewell adding an emotional angle, the team is geared up for a memorable campaign after the disappointment of missing the semis in 2019.
The batting group promises much as does a strong bowling core but with South Africa and World Cups, you know better than to not be too hopeful.
South Africa squad for World Cup 2023
Temba Bavuma (c), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen.