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Proteas T20 World Cup preparation has some serious holes

The T20 World Cup in India is less than six months away, but you wouldn’t know it to look at the Proteas schedule.

Quinton de Kock - T20 World Cup Preperation

The T20 World Cup in India is less than six months away, but you wouldn't know it to look at the Proteas schedule.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

With the Indian Premier League dominating the cricket landscape through April and May, the Proteas will next be in action in July when they visit minnows Ireland for a white-ball series.

Crucially the Proteas also played the final T20I series of their home summer without most of the side that is expected to make the trip to India in October. This was due in part to the decision to allow IPL contracted players to leave and play in the showpiece.

What makes matters worse is that the Proteas have yet to really nail down their best playing XI, and many of their best players have sat out T20I series.

There is hope that AB de Villiers could return to bolster the Proteas, and while they would be mad to turn him down, Mark Boucher and company will need to find a place for him in the team. De Villiers would have the drive and certainly the experience, but he is unlikely to get much time in the green and gold before the tournament.

Kyle Verreynne has shown great promise as a middle-order banker in the mould of Joe Root or Kane Williamson, but he has barely been given a second look across a puzzling summer. It seems that Temba Bavuma has been earmarked for that role, but with the skipper missing the T20Is against Pakistan, it made the Cobras batsman’s absence that much more puzzling with the likes of Pite van Biljon and Wihan Lubbe handed chances ahead of him in a move that struck many as odd.

The Proteas also need to sort out their opening pair, with Aiden Markram throwing the cat among the pigeons as the standout performer in the four-match series against Pakistan.

South Africa’s pace stocks look as healthy as ever but there again all players involved could use some clarity surrounding their roles.

The pandemic has not made things easy on South African cricket, but it would serve the national team if more contests were arranged in the enormous blank spots in the schedule.

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