South Africa on Tuesday announced the squad for the upcoming five-match T20 International series against India. The Temba Bavuma-led side is dominated by the players who are currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. The series will be a warm-up for the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia later this year.
There are as many as nine players who are currently in India, plying their trade in the world's biggest T20 cricket league. But the biggest surprise is the inclusion of wicketkeeper-batter Tristan Stubbs.
Victor Mpitsang, the convenor of selectors, said: "This is the Proteas like we have not seen them in a long time... The injection of the IPL players means that we will have a team that’s ready to fire on all cylinders immediately and has vast experience of the conditions that we will be playing in."
The 16-member squad includes returning Wayne Parnell, Anrich Nortje, Heinrich Klaasen and Reeza Hendricks. But the biggest surprise is the inclusion of Tristan Stubbs.
Pleased with the return of tear-away pacer, Mpitsang said that "the country can also join us in a collective sigh of relief at the return of Anrich Nortje, who has been working hard to recover from a frustrating injury."
Wayne Parnell, 32, is making a return to T20I after a gap of five years. The pacer last played in a T20I series against England in June 2017. He has taken 41 wickets in 40 matches.
Anrich Nortje, 28, just recovered from a persistent hip injury since December 2021. The fast bowler is currently in India with Delhi Capitals. Nortje has played 16 T20Is, taking 18 wickets.
Other players who are already in India for the IPL 2022 are Aiden Markram (Sunrisers Hyderabad), David Miller (Gujarat Titans), Dwayne Pretorious (Chennai Super Kings), Kagiso Rababa (Punjab Kings), Lungi Ngidi (Delhi Capitals), Marco Jansen (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Rassie van der Dussen (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Quinton de Kock (Lucknow Super Giants).
Heinrich Klaasen, 30, was part of the Proteas side which missed out on a semi-final place in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. The batter has so far scored 449 runs in 28 T20Is.
Reeza Hendricks, 32, was also part of South Africa's T20 World Cup squad in the UAE. The opening batter has scored 1049 runs in 40 T20Is.
Talking about Tristan Stubbs, Mpitsang said that the youngster "is an exciting prospect and we're keen to see what he's made."
Tristan Stubbs, 21, was picked by Mumbai Indians as a replacement for Tymal Mills. The middle-order batter was part of the Gbets Warriors side in the Cricket South Africa T20 Challenge, and toured Zimbabwe as a part of South Africa 'A' team.
The team also has spinners Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi.
Check the full squad here: Temba Bavuma (captain, Imperial Lions), Quinton de Kock (Momentum Multiply Titans), Reeza Hendricks (Imperial Lions), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Momentum Multiply Titans), David Miller (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Anrich Nortje (Gbets Warriors), Wayne Parnell (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Dwaine Pretorius (North West Dragons), Kagiso Rabada (Imperial Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Momentum Multiply Titans), Tristan Stubbs (Gbets Warriors), Rassie van der Dussen (Imperial Lions), Marco Jansen (Gbets Warriors).
Check full schedule for India vs South Africa, T20I cricket series:
1st T20I - June 9, Delhi
2nd T20I - June 12, Cuttack
3rd T20I - June 14, Vizag
4th T20I - June 17, Rajkot
5th T20I - June 18, Bengaluru
Meanwhile, India are likely to rest of the stars in the team like skipper Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. In their absence, either Shikhar Dhawan or Hardik Pandya will get the captaincy role.
India are currently the top-ranked T20I side in the world. South Africa are fourth, behind Pakistan (3), England (2) and India (1).