Cape Town - Proteas T20 captain, Faf du Plessis, says the upcoming three-match KFC T20 International series will be the ideal opportunity for the inexperienced players in the squad to test their skill against quality opposition.
The Proteas have rested the majority of their senior players after a successful Sunfoil Test series, which allows the coaching staff to test their depth keeping in mind the ICC World Twenty20 next year.
The West Indies are boosted by the return of their T20 “big guns” and will enter the series with an advantage and some confidence of their form in the T20 format.
“If you look at their team they are probably the favourites on paper,” Du Plessis admitted.
“They are playing their full-strength team but these are our conditions and we have a lot of exciting young talent. For me they are the dominant T20 team in the world at the moment...they're full of match-winners. It will be a really tough series for us, but that’s how you want it...you want your young guys to compete, that will make them players which is good for South African cricket.”
Du Plessis says he will seek input and advice from the domestic players who played against some of the West Indies' line-up during the RamSlam T20 Challenge.
Darren Sammy, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo make a return to the country a month after the T20 Challenge.
“I think it will help them, but more mentally,” he said. “It’s always nice for a player to come to a country to prepare for a series in those conditions. In saying that, quite a few of them had a tough time here in South Africa’s domestic cricket.
"It’s good for us that we can tap into the domestic players’ plans and on what worked for them. Also the guys that did do well, to get some input on where to go against them. “
Squads for Newlands:
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (capt), David Wiese, Aaron Phangiso, David Miller, Farhaan Behardien, Jean-Paul Duminy, Wayne Parnell, Rilee Rossouw, Morne van Wyk (w/k), Imran Tahir, Marchant de Lange, Reeza Hendricks, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada, Justin Ontong.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (capt), Jason Holder, Andre Russell, Andre Fletcher, Carlos Brathwaite, Sulieman Benn, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin (w/k), Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo. Tour itinerary:
8 January - 1st T20 International, Newlands 18:00
11 January – 2nd T20 International, Wanderers 15:00
14 January – 3rd T20 International, Kingsmead 18:00.