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ICC World Cup 2011

Tahir and van Wyk picked for World Cup

Firdose Moonda

January 18, 2011

Comments: 104 | Text size: A | A

Imran Tahir warms up at a practice session, Cape Town, January 17, 2011
Pakistan-born legspinner Imran Tahir is the only uncapped player in South Africa's squad © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Imran Tahir | Morne van Wyk
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: South Africa

Imran Tahir, the Pakistan-born legspinner, is the only uncapped player named in South Africa's World Cup squad. Reserve wicketkeeper Morne van Wyk is a surprise inclusion in the final XV while there is no room for David Miller.

Tahir's inclusion means that South Africa have five spin options in their bowling attack, a sign that they have moulded the squad to suit subcontinent conditions. Tahir only became eligible to play South Africa on New Year's Day and has yet to make his debut but his inexperience at international level is not bothering the selectors. "It is not a worry that Tahir has not played an ODI yet," Andrew Hudson, convenor of selectors, said. "The conditions in South Africa have been more suited to seam bowling and his record in domestic cricket both in South Africa and England speaks for itself. We know exactly what he offers us."

Faf du Plessis, the allrounder who made his debut against India on Tuesday night, is the other legspinner in the squad, giving South Africa an option they have not had at a World Cup before. du Plessis scored a classy 60 in his first match, although he struggled with cramp and received treatment on his forearm. He spent some time off the field but later returned and bowled an over. "I am very happy with Faf du Plessis' debut and form. He gives us a leg-spinning option as well and is an outstanding fielder."

du Plessis will replace Miller at number six or seven in the batting line-up. Miller has been inconsistent since making his debut against the West Indies in May 2010. Although he is a clean hitter of the ball, he has struggled in the current series against India, scoring just 36 runs in two innings and his inexperience could well have cost his place. Miller is only 21-years-old and opportunity will no doubt come his way in the future.

Colin Ingram, who came into the national team against Zimbabwe in October last year, after Miller had made his debut, has retained his place. Ingram has been batting at No. 3, in place of the injured Jacques Kallis, and will move down the order when Kallis returns. Kallis suffered a side strain and bruising to his rib during the Test series against India and was left out of the ODI squad for the current in order to recover. Kallis is fully fit for the World Cup. "CSA's Medical Committee are happy with Kallis' progress and he will be ready to play a full role with both bat and ball from the start of the tournament."

Kallis will form part of a battery of five seamers that includes Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and two left-armers in Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell. Parnell has been the weakest of the five since making a comeback from a groin injury against Pakistan in November last year. He has been battled with his rhythm and accuracy but has been included despite his inexperience. Kallis is the only one of the five bowlers who has played in a World Cup before.

Together with Smith, AB de Villiers and Robin Petersen, Kallis is one of only four survivors from the last World Cup in the West Indies in 2007. Mark Boucher, the only other player from that tournament who could have been recalled was discarded in place of van Wyk.

van Wyk has been rewarded for consistent performances at domestic level and has been preferred to Mark Boucher as the reserve wicketkeeper, essentially signaling the end of Boucher's limited-overs career. van Wyk is also a back-up opening batsman, who could come in handy if one of Graeme Smith or Hashim Amla are indisposed. In 10 matches in this season's MNT40, he scored 323 runs at an average of 35.88, including a match-winning century in the semi-final and undefeated 85 in the final. van Wyk has played six ODIs, the last one against New Zealand in November 2007 and has an average of 32.50.

Squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Morne van Wyk (wk)

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Comments: 104 
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Posted by Harjinder on (January 21, 2011, 7:29 GMT)

Hi SA fan ****I am an indian but i always watch,respect,pray for SA cricket and cricketers even they play against India since 1992.So MR HUDSON you selected a good team.But we miss a hitter at no 7 like ZULU ,soyou should have not dropped D.Miller instead of R.peterson.O GOD BLESS SA TO WIN WC 2011 PLEASE>>>>>>>1992 to 2011

Posted by Dru on (January 20, 2011, 18:37 GMT)

I think SA made some bold and good choices. Bouches on the way out and van Wyk was the right choice, Albie has the x-factor but hasnt played for SA for a while and his bowling was a concern. Tahir and Faf are brave but way to go - spinner are going to play a role so taking spinners make sense. SA have the best chance to at the cup unlike past years when they lacked variety. This side has variety with options on all fronts inculding a variety of spinners something they have never had.

Posted by ntokozo on (January 20, 2011, 14:18 GMT)

For those moaning about Albie's exclusion, well, not that he deserves to be in the squard based on form but he has been called to be on standby which is good. If there is a need for him, I'm sure we'll see him. I don't understand why everybody questions Lopsy's selection and abilities in the subsontinent. Wasn't he the best bowler 4 S.A in those roads at the U.A.E against Pak. While I realise the objectives of the quota system, I'm still furious about Peterson's selection. I wud have thought of a Vernon Philander instead who has been in scintilating form with both bat and ball in the domestic game. Davie Jacobs was another prospect. Quiet frankly, I think the over-emphasis on spin bowlers like Peterson will come back to haunt S.A. Yes, the wickets will assist spiners, but we all know that ODI wickets in Ind can have a tendency to assist neither spin nor fast bowling. In that case, you need your best eleven, with your best bowlers on the park (regardless of type). Anyhow, Go Sa, Go!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 20, 2011, 12:33 GMT)

Many have been the number of people bemoaning the exclusion of Mark Boucher, and I can only agree that in the light of the team's recent batting collapses it is a decision that will come back to haunt them. His batting may not be as fluent as it was but his experience would have undoubtedly been a great asset especially in terms of how to guide the lower order and bat with the tail. His half-century in the Cape Town Test against India is proof of that and it might have saved his career. South Africa had no right to lose the second ODI and 220 in the third should have been at least 250-260. Boucher's ability against spin bowling meant that he should have gone as one of the wicketkeepers, there is no doubt that he's still South Africa's best and finest ever.

Posted by thilina on (January 20, 2011, 11:04 GMT)

South African cricket board is always late in making decisions. Y couldn't they give Boucher & Albie a chance during this India series???? frustrations everywhere and now its too late already. for sure they should have dropped peterson and botha from the squad. 3rd odi is a good example for that. anyway, wish south african team my all time favorite all the best in the next 2 odi's and the upcoming wc.

Posted by Anuj on (January 20, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

It is very sad that Boutcher & A. morkel is not included. We are hoping that Boutcher will this world cup but he is not included, and now it look likes that his ODI career is over. But the most sadest part of this selection is not to pick A. Morkel, he may be not good bowler as Parnell is but he is very good with the bat, so he is a very good option at no. 7 rather then Parnell, like Y. Pathan for India. He proved in some matches and also in the IPL. CSK retain his as only oversees player that shows his worthiness. SA you make the mistake but if any bowler will injured replace him with Albei, this is best bet for you in sub-continent.

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 20, 2011, 6:21 GMT)

Yahoooooooooo Albie is back its good news... he Much better then Johan Botha***********

Posted by thilina on (January 20, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

wheres the best player who bats in pressure situations????????????? Mark Boucher would have given a chance here, coz after kallis boucher was the only one who could hang on till the end when the team is under preasure. Im so DISSAPOINTED with Boucher & Albie not picked for the job. A big mistake by the selectors coz peterson would have replaced with one of these good finishers.

Posted by Dummy4 on (January 20, 2011, 5:07 GMT)

its very bad ..albie morkel & theron is not in squed ....s.africa early back in home ... ...without morkel and theron....

Posted by Harjinder on (January 19, 2011, 21:25 GMT)

Hi SA fans**( sorry correction ) SA board have a lots of matches to A.Morkel to prove not to J V Wath and Miller

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