The retirement of stalwarts from their previous generation and a change in leadership have left South Africa wearing a thin look, but starting with the series against India, they have a year to build up before the T20 World Cup
Four years after they kick started their previous tour of India with a 200-run T20 chase, South Africa return to the site of that triumph – Dharamsala – a changed outfit. Three of their stalwarts from the previous generation – AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn – aren’t around, while Faf du Plessis isn’t in charge of the T20I team.
This is the start of a new era in South African cricket, one they will usher into with Quinton de Kock as their captain in the shortest format. After a disappointing ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, they have exactly a year to rebuild and show up for contention at next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia. That work begins now, with the tour of India, where they clinched the T20Is 2-0 the last time they visited these shores for a bilateral series.
India, ranked fourth in the world, haven’t exactly cracked the T20 code. Coach Ravi Shastri has already spelled out the need to have a long-term T20 vision, a lot of which will involve infusing youth into the squad.
Ravi Shastri said, “The vision is to keep the consistency level going. It will be a team in transition, and one has to keep an eye out for the youth and also keep an eye on developing the bench strength as far as batting and bowling goes across all three formats.”
South Africa batsman Rassie van der Dussen said, “Quinton is one of those guys who leads by example. He doesn’t always say a lot, but when he speaks he says really valuable things.”