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Know your Proteas ahead of CWC19

The side will be led by Faf du Plessis and includes 8 players who will make their World Cup debuts.

FILE: Members of the Proteas. Picture: Twitter @OfficialCSA.

CAPE TOWN - The Proteas have named their 15-man squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup being played in England and Wales from 30 May. EWN Sports' Carl Lewis profiles each player in the squad.

Faf du Plessis

Settled as the undisputed leader the national team, the Proteas skipper has come of age in recent years in the 50-over format and Du Plessis' batting numbers are indicative of his current standing.

As captain, he averages an impressive 55.82 and there will be a reliance on him to provide stability, composure and of course, important runs in those middle overs.

He'll be relishing the chance to bury the demons of 2015 and create history as a South African captain.

Aiden Markram

Despite an underwhelming record in ODI cricket, Markram remains one of the most talented batsmen in South African cricket.

His inclusion in the squad will spark debate but his potential is unquestionable.

After 18 ODI's, he averages 29.58, but his List A average of 44.17 at a strike-rate of 100.04 is a better indicator of what he could produce.

Quinton de Kock

The Proteas' genuine match winner with the bat and an important figure in the team, opening the batting for the team.

The aggressive left-hander is recognised around the world as one of the best in the format. Not only does he score quickly (95.81) but has the ability to score big runs as his 14 centuries suggest (highest score of 198).

His place in the team was one of the big talking points of the World Cup in 2015 where he averaged a meagre 20.71. He has grown up since then and can handle himself much better. He will be a key figure if the Proteas
are successful.

Hashim Amla

With an average of just under 50 and 27 centuries to his name, it's hard to imagine leaving out Amla with such a proud record behind him.

However, 2018 saw Amla struggle in the format where he averaged just 28.63. His stats have improved in the five ODIs he's played in 2019 with an average of over 50, which includes a century and a 50 to his name.

Amla has also been dealing with sensitive family matters but he seems to thrive when the chips are down. Another bonus is his impressive ODI stats in England, where he averages 56 while his World Cup average is a respectable 42.60.

Rassie van der Dussen

Perhaps the shining light of the recent South African summer, Van der Dussen has taken to international cricket with surprising efficiency and a sense of belonging.

Not only did he score runs but Van der Dussesn struck them at key moments and was involved in some testing run-chases for the Proteas. A potential match winner and secret weapon for the national team.

Although he failed to score a century (highest score of 93) in his eight ODI innings, he did manage to accumulate four half-centuries at a remarkable average of 88.25.

JP Duminy

Duminy has not played much cricket of late due to a serious shoulder injury which required surgery but his importance to the ODI squad and the balance of the team cannot be underestimated.

Duminy has been a fixture in the Proteas' white ball cricket for years and his improvement in the format has come after retiring from Test and First Class cricket.

Duminy has an impressive World Cup average of 43.11, his understanding and adaptability in ODI cricket will be important. His batting success in the middle overs and back end of the innings will be vital for Proteas success.

David Miller

Miller is explosive and hits the ball a long way, but there has been a maturity that has seeped into his game. He made his name as a destructive left-hander and while those skills remain, his innings construction has improved and the Proteas are happy to send him in before Duminy in order for him to get batting time.

Miller will also be the backup wicketkeeper if De Kock is to get injured. Although he might not bowl, his fielding has the potential to change matches whether it be catching, throwing or his groundwork on the boundary, Miller is one of the best in the game.

Miller had an impressive 2015 World Cup, averaging 64.80, but will feel he has unfinished business after the semifinal exit.

Andile Phehlukwayo

Phehlukwayo has developed into a fine international all-rounder especially with the ball where he appears eager and willing to bowl at the death and make the difference.

Phehlukwayo is South Africa's most skillful bowler. He doesn't have the pace of others but possesses the guile, variation and self-confidence to handle 'big' moments and execute the plethora of variations his bowling gives, which he has been doing with more frequency of late.

Like his bowling, his numbers confirm his development with the bat is happening as well and the Proteas might ask him to bat at seven at the tournament. Although he has the solitary fifty to his name, Phehlukwayo has
that innate ability to play match-winning innings under pressure and during a chase.

Dwaine Pretorius

Pretorius is a reliable performer and has earned his spot in the Proteas squad through his efforts in domestic cricket.

He has yet to let the Proteas down but he has not always got the opportunity (especially with the bat) to showcase his talents.

In his 19 matches, he has batted just eight times, scoring one 50 because he usually walks in when the need to accelerate is required. Pretorius has one List A century and four First Class centuries which proves he is a proper batsman.

He has also been consistent with the ball for the Proteas. He is not blessed with express pace but he is economical at 4.88 runs per over and takes his wickets every 36 balls.

The Proteas have matchwinners but Pretorius' steadiness could prove a perfect foil for some of his other teammates.

Kagiso Rabada

Still only 23, he has swiftly become South Africa's premiere fast bowler and is the ranked at number five in the world rankings in ODIs.

He possesses the ability to take wickets as an opening bowler, in the middle overs and at the death with his rapid yorkers, all the while maintaining an economy rate of 4.98 runs per over.

He seems able to conquer any batsman or challenge at any given time. His ability to remain composed is important for a team whose 'BMT' is sometimes harshly questioned.

Rabada seems to thrive under pressure and has faith in his ability to bowl yorkers at will. While others have exercised more complicated death bowling tactics, his simplistic approach at the death remains a timeless one.

Lungi Ngidi

The emergence of Lungi Ngidi as an exceptional ODI bowler has been a significant boost at the right moment with the retirement of Morne Morkel.

The tall and imposing quick gets his wickets up front with his unassuming pace and movement off the deck. He is also tough to get away during the middle and death overs when batsmen are trying to accelerate.

In his 18 ODI's, he has already picked 34 wickets - he gets a wicket every 24 balls which could prove an essential habit at the World Cup.

Anrich Nortje

Nortje is another international newcomer that has got fans excited about South African fast bowling. He might be the Proteas' secret weapon having only played international cricket against Sri Lanka.

The fearsome pace he generates with his strong action could add an interesting dynamic to an already loaded Proteas attack.

Nortje had tongues wagging during the inaugural MSL. A sample size of only a handful of matches in the T20 tournament was enough for IPL franchise the Kolkata Knight Riders to snap him up.

Against Sri Lanka, he got eight wickets in four matches and only once was his economy rate over 5 runs per over while his strike-rate is an impressive 24.

Tabraiz Shamsi

Shamsi will be back-up for Tahir and he is an excellent option to have as a back-up.

The left arm wrist spinner has bamboozled and terrorised domestic batsmen for a number of seasons but has not necessarily translated that into the ODI arena.

He has bags of potential and is the natural heir to Tahir's throne - his variations are tough to pick but perhaps his time will come once Tahir makes way for him to flourish after the tournament, although the prospect of the two wrist spinners bowling in tandem does excite.

Dale Steyn

At 35, Steyn remains one of the hardest working and best fast bowlers in the world. His pace and movement through the air, together with his reputation, will hopefully get South Arfica early wickets in the first powerplay.

Although his priority has always been Test cricket, the 'Phalaborwa Express' still boasts a very good ODI record. He has 196 wickets with an economy of 4.87 and a strike-rate of 31.6.

He will go down as South Africa's best ever when he retires and will be desperate to make history in what is probably his last World Cup.

Imran Tahir

The Proteas are fortunate to have one of the best, if not the best spinner in world white ball cricket. Only Afghanistan's Rashid Khan is above him the ICC Rankings as it stands.

Tahir has the skill to pick up vital wickets during the middle overs, which in previous years was an opportunity for batsmen to rotate the strike. Tahir gives batsmen no respite in these vital overs. There are international batsmen who still struggle to pick his leg spinner, googly or slider.

Only the legendary duo of Allan Donald (38 wickets in 25 matches) and Shaun Pollock (31 wickets in 31 matches) have more wickets at cricket's showpiece.

Tahir is on 29 wickets (at the World Cup), his strike-rate is far superior to the aforementioned duo because he has done it in only 13 matches.

The World Cup will also be the perfect send-off for the 40-year-old as he calls it a day in ODI cricket after the tournament. He will also bring up a century of caps during the tournament so it's set up for him to
create one last memory for an adoring nation.

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