South Africa’s new white-ball coach, Rob Walter, has unveiled his first squads for the one-day and Twenty20 international series against the West Indies, with Aiden Markram named the new T20 captain. As reported by France24, Walker also left out former captain Faf du Plessis from the squad, despite talks between Walter and du Plessis. However, cricket South Africa director, Enoch Nkwe, emphasized that this does not mean the door is closed on du Plessis or other non-contracted cricketers, and they remain open to talks with freelance players.
Many have anticipated Markram’s appointment as the T20 captain. The talented player recently marked his return to the Test team with a fine 115 in the victory over West Indies. However, Test captain, Temba Bavuma, has been left out of the T20 squad but will continue to lead the ODI side. Walter’s brief is to ensure that South Africa develops an ODI team capable of winning the 2027 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.
Walter has included several young players in the ODI squad as the first step towards this year’s World Cup, with five more experienced players joining them for the third and final match against the West Indies. Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have been rested for the one-day games but will return for the T20s. Wins against the Netherlands in two World Cup Super League ODIs will see South Africa qualify automatically for this year’s World Cup.
Former South Africa batsman JP Duminy has been named South Africa’s full-time white-ball batting coach. The West Indies ODIs are not part of the World Cup Super League, and fixtures for the tour are as follows:
March 16, 1st ODI, East London
March 18, 2nd ODI, East London
March 21, 3rd ODI, Potchefstroom
March 25, 1st T20, Centurion
March 26, 2nd T20, Centurion
March 28, 3rd T20, Johannesburg
Nkwe emphasized that there is no pressure on Walter to win this year. Still, together they need to build up for 2027, considering the big goal of winning the World Cup in South Africa. Talks with the Indian board and the Indian Premier League have also occurred to ensure South Africa could field a full-strength team for the Netherlands matches.
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