Proteas

The SIX players who could earn Proteas debuts

2017-01-18 16:19
Lungi Ngidi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - It is a largely inexperienced group, but the Proteas squad for the first T20Is against Sri Lanka is also incredibly exciting.

Farhaan Behardien will captain the side in Pretoria on Friday and then in Johannesburg on Sunday before Faf du Plessis and some other big names, including AB de Villiers, are expected to return to the set-up for the third T20I in Cape Town next week Wednesday. 

There are potentially six debutants in the format, while the likes of Heino Kuhn and Reeza Hendricks have had limited opportunities in the past. 

Resting their key players has been a priority for this Proteas group in what is a big year for South African cricket, and these first two matches will provide an opportunity for a number of players to impress on the international stage. 

Here, we take a look at the SIX players who are in line to earn their T20I debuts over the next few days.

Theunis de Bruyn

Age - 24

De Bruyn has scored buckets of runs across all formats and he is considered one of the mot talented young batsman in the country. At 24, he is due an opportunity and that will surely come this week. He averages over 51 in first class cricket and the longer format is surely where he is at his best, but with the Test side performing so well it has been difficult for him to break into that side. So, he gets his chance in a bot of 'hit and giggle'. 

Mangaliso Mosehle

Age - 26

Mosehle is the favourite to take the wicketkeeping gloves in the absence of Quinton de Kock. His numbers at domestic level are not great - he averages just over 18 in the format - but he can be a destructive batsman when things are going his way. It is hard to see anybody challenging De Kock for a Proteas wicketkeeping position for the next decade, so Mosehle will want to make the most of this opportunity. He won't get too many more. 

Lungi Ngidi

Age - 20

A seriously bright prospect. It is still early days, but the Titans fast bowler seems to have it all. Perhaps most importantly, he is quick. A lot of cricket fans would not have seen him play before, but he is one worth watching over the next two matches. He goes at less than 7.5 to the over in domestic T20 cricket - his accuracy improving all the time. 

Dane Paterson

Age - 27

One of the few shining lights in what has been an otherwise difficult season for the Cape Cobras. Paterson has been particularly impressive in the One Day format this season and had a relatively successful T20 campaign. He is extremely highly rated and offers a lot of variation. 

JJ Smuts

Age - 28

Looked destined to be one of those players who excelled at franchise level for years without ever getting a shot at international cricket. The selectors should be applauded here for breaking the mould. Smuts has been a key figure for the Warriors in all formats and, at the top of the order, was the leading run scorer in this year's domestic T20 competition. 

Andile Phehlukwayo

Age - 20

He has broken into the ODI set-up for the Proteas with 6 caps to his name, but now he gets an opportunity in the shorter format. It is important not to expect too much from the Dolphins all-rounder too soon - he is still just 20 - but all of the signs are there to suggest that he has a long future in Proteas colours. He hits a long ball and his bowling has been impressive too. 

All pics: Gallo Images

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