Who Are South Africa?
South Africa are also known as the Proteas which derives from South Africa’s national flower, Protea cynaroides, commonly known as the “King Protea”. In the T20 format the Proteas wear a green coloured shirt with a yellow gradient and green trousers. They are currently coached by former wicket keeper Mark Boucher and captained by batsman Temba Bavuma and are currently ranked 4th in the world in the format.
South Africa played their first T20 international match in 2005, when they played against New Zealand at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Subsequently, South Africa have played 147 t20 international matches, winning 85, losing 60, tying one, and one match with no result. They have played in every T20 World Cup, making it seven appearances and their best result came in 2009 and 2014 when they reached the semi-finals.
South Africa have unfortunately earned the tag ‘chokers’ when it comes to ICC cricket tournaments. They are a team that perform well in limited overs tournaments, usually making it to the semi-finals but have not been able to win any silverware and with a team with usually so many classy players it is surprising that they haven’t been able to win any limited overs tournaments.
Some of South Africa’s best T20 players include AB de Villiers, Imran Tahir, Faf du Plessis, JP Duminy, Quinten de Kock, Dale Steyn, Tabraiz Shamsi and Morné Morkel.
The T20 History of South Africa
South Africa even with some very strong T20 teams over the years have underperformed at T20 World Cups. They have only made it to the final on two occasions, once in 2009 and the other in 2014.
In 2009, South Africa had a strong start to the tournament winning all their group games. But, in their semi-finals were beaten by Pakistan falling an agonising seven runs short and Pakistan would go on to win the tournament.
In 2014, the Proteas once again qualified for the semi-final winning three of their four group matches. However, on this occasion they were beaten by India by a comfortable six wickets. South Africa will hope to improve their T20 World Cup record in the future to hopefully win their first ever limited overs World Cup and drop the tag of ‘chokers’.
Who Holds the T20 Records for South Africa?
South Africa have produced some great all format fast bowlers. The likes of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, and Morné Morkel have all been very impressive in T20s, with Morkel and Rabada taking 46 and 49 wickets respectively, and Steyn being the countries leading wicket taker in the format with 64 in 47 matches.
The spin of Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi are the Proteas’ second and third leading wicket takers with 61 and 57, respectively. Shamsi is also the number one ranked T20 bowler in the world at the time of writing.
In the batting department South Africa has been blessed with some gifted T20 batsmen. JP Duminy (1,934 runs), Quinten de Kock (1,827 runs), and David Miller (1,745) are the Proteas’ leading run scorers in the format.
However, one batsman that stands out is AB de Villiers, although his records are not as impressive as those batsmen mentioned previously, he was an astonishing batsmen who played shots all around the ground and his impact was even greater than what his records suggest.