T20 World Cup

Former South Africa quick wants to see Faf du Plessis at T20 World Cup

South Africa news

By Jonathan Healy

Hit For Six!

Former South Africa quick Morne Morkel wants selectors to take a chance and include star batter Faf du Plessis in the Proteas' squad for this year's ICC T20 World Cup.

While du Plessis no longer holds a playing contract with Cricket South Africa, the 37-year-old showed he still has what it takes to perform well at the top level by making 468 runs during the recent IPL tournament for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli at the IPL earlier this year
Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli at the IPL earlier this year

Selectors overlooked du Plessis for last year's T20 World Cup in Dubai and now face a similar dilemma as to whether they include the veteran right-hander in their squad for this year's edition of the 20-over showcase.

Former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith recently suggested du Plessis should be considered for the four-week long tournament and Morkel agrees.

"You want all your big-name players to play and Faf is still playing well at the age of 37," Morkel told ICC Digital at an event in Melbourne to celebrate 100 days until the start of the T20 World Cup in Australia.

"He is still playing well, moving well in the field and he has done exceptionally well for RCB (in the IPL).

"I would like to see those experienced players in the side.

"That is up to them (Cricket South Africa) to work out, but I am definitely a big fan of it."

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Whether du Plessis wins a spot in South Africa's squad remains to be seen, but Morkel is still confident his former side can be competitive at the T20 World Cup this year regardless of whether he is included.

The Proteas drew their most recent T20 series 2-2 away from home against India and have a fearsome bowling attack led by towering quick Kagiso Rabada and experienced spinner Tabraiz Shamsi.

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That pair took eight wickets each at last year's tournament and Morkel expects a similar performance this time around.

"I honestly believe they have an attack that is going to suit these conditions well," Morkel noted.

"Kagiso Rabada is a world class performer, Anrich Nortje did very well at the IPL and Shamsi is a quality spinner.

"I do believe that it is a well-balanced squad and in T20 cricket these days the teams are so close."

Morne Morkel speaking in Melbourne
Morne Morkel speaking in Melbourne

But it is with the bat that Morkel believes South Africa can surprise, with the former pacer expecting big things from a Proteas' top-order that includes skipper Temba Bavuma and classy opener Quinton de Kock.

"From a batting perspective, you can't not mention Quinton De Kock as he has been in some fantastic form," Morkel said.

"Aiden Markram is another quality player, while Bevuma finds the way to score runs and rotate the strike although he is not is not your conventional T20 player.

"On these big fields (in Australia) where you can hit pockets and run well, he is going to be a big player."

The T20 World Cup commences on October 16, with South Africa's first match coming on October 24 in Hobart against a qualifier from the First Round.



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