Opinion: A bit late for Jonker call-up, but Dala's on cue

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

The composition of South Africa's squad for this month's three-T20I series against India seems well balanced enough in the absence of several rested stars.

There's no doubt that Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir would provide a stronger challenge for Virat Kohli and company with bat and ball, respectively, but the ongoing bid to test the nation's bench strength must be obliged.

Therefore, the likes of Tabraiz Shamsi and Farhaan Behardien are afforded another chance to silence their many doubters. Christiaan Jonker and Junior Dala, meanwhile, will get their first taste of international cricket - against pretty impressive opposition. To reiterate the sincere sentiment of a previous blog, now is definitely time for Reeza Hendricks to shine too - and how right the selectors have got it in squeezing Jon-Jon Smuts back into the fold.

The call-up of Jonker is an interesting one. He only managed 290 runs in 10 innings during the 2017 Ram Slam T20 Challenge, albeit at the hefty strike rate of 144.27, and only batted twice in the Warriors' last five Momentum One Day Cup matches. Those two innings yielded just eight runs. At 31 years old, this might be the hard-hitting right-hander's one and only chance in the green and gold.

Fellow 30-something domestic veteran Robbie Frylinck has already been tossed aside. He was afforded just two T20Is against Bangladesh, but evidently didn't do enough to warrant a second series. It's a rough deal, but the shortest format lends itself to this sort of 'use and abuse' approach.

Beuran Hendricks and Dwaine Pretorius are also out of the picture. Dane Paterson will spearhead the seam attack - and one trusts this makes rather than breaks a man who has only played five T20Is and three ODIs. Faf du Plessis noted Chris Morris is too inconsistent to be the third seamer in the Test match XI, but that's exactly what he's shaping up to be in the T20I team.

Dala’s arrival has been a long time coming - and his awkward action and genuine pace should trouble the Indians. If not in Cape Town and Centurion, he must definitely play in Johannesburg, where conditions could really fire him up.

Not much fanfare was made of the South African A XI to face the Aussies, but it’s so good to see Pieter Malan included. Top of the Sunfoil Series and Momentum One Day Cup run-scoring charts, this is arguably the most deserved call-up the public have seen in the past couple of years. Earnest and hard-working, 

The views expressed above are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Hollywoodbets.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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