With South Africa currently touring India, prior to the World Cup T20 2022, several of their players took time out to speak to Betway Insider.
Check out what Protea bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi have to say regarding their T20 World Cup chances and the development of South Africa's T20 team.
With so many South Africa legends retiring over the last few years, has it been nice to rebuild with a fresh team?
Kagiso Rabada commented: When all of our experienced players retired, we entered a rebuilding phase playing against teams that were established. Our most experienced players are still quite young and the way that we've transitioned as a squad has been really positive. It was tough in the beginning, because you had a whole lot of inexperience, and we were playing against established teams. But to see how far we've come, I've loved experiencing that. And seeing how players have stepped up and announced themselves on the international scene. So, for me, that's what I've enjoyed the most out of it. Having been a part of a team with legends like AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Hashim Amla, and seen what the atmosphere was like, that’s what we’re aiming for. All those players were young and announcing themselves on the scene at some stage. It’s great to see so many of our guys begin to put their hands up now.
Lungi Ngidi commented: The youngsters don't come in with any preconceived ideas of how it's supposed to be. They just play their natural game. We've all seen Tristan Stubbs, for example, come out and play his natural game. And that's exactly what we need. So, it is very exciting for the future, to be honest. It feels unnatural, but I guess I’m an experienced player now!
The game continues to evolve with scores going up and up. How much further do you think it can go?
Kagiso Rabada commented: I will say that T20 is a batter’s game. Bringing in things like two new balls, it's all to encourage higher scores. As a bowler, you have to find a way to become successful. Bowlers around the world are all talking about smaller boundaries and flat pitches and bigger bats. But it doesn't help to complain! These days, there are so many tactics, and so many ploys that bowlers use to keep up. You have to be creative.
Lungi Ngidi commented: You’ve even got to lie to the batter. Set one field and bluff them with a completely different delivery. Just being smarter and learning different skills. People say the yorker is still the best ball but these guys have trained to hit that out of the park now. That element of being able to think on your feet is a great quality to have.
There are pretty good cricket betting odds on South Africa winning the World Cup T20 2022, however, what do the players think….
What do South Africa need to do to lift that first piece of global silverware?
Lungi Ngidi commented: We need to not let external influences come into the camp. A lot of things get said about us before tournaments, and we carry this tag around, and that can affect the way we play. But the minute we can shut that out, we are in a really good spot, because we’re playing good enough cricket. Don’t let external influences cloud the mind. I’m confident we won’t, because none of this team have much experience of falling short in tournaments. In fact, last year we won four out of five games, which is hardly failure. Luck does play a big part, too. A bit of luck could help us along the way.
The World Cup T20 2022 gets underway on October 16th with South Africa’s first match on October 24th – will the Proteas lift that first piece of global silverware?
Check out the squad below -
South Africa’s World Cup T20 Squad: Temba Bavuma (captain), Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Heinrich Klaasen (wicket-keeper), Reeza Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Rillee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs (wicket-keeper).
Reserves: Bjorn Fortuin, Marco Jansen, Andile Phehlukwayo