Is Proteas T20 middle-order of Stubbs, Markram, Miller on the cards?

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Quick-scoring Tristan Stubbs will be in line to make his Proteas debut following his first call-up on Tuesday to the South African team for their T20 series in India, while fast bowler Anrich Nortje will be making a welcome return to international action.

The 21-year-old Stubbs has played sensational T20 cricket for the Warriors, scoring 506 runs in 17 innings over the last two seasons, at an average of 38 and a strike-rate of 156, outstanding figures in the shortest format. Many of his innings have been memorable efforts under great pressure at the death.

The talent of Stubbs was noticed by the Mumbai Indians, who called him into their IPL squad as an injury replacement two weeks ago. That cut short his involvement with the SA A team on their recent tour of Zimbabwe, but he did play twice, scoring 37 and 19, being not out in both innings and scoring at a strike-rate of 121.

Also read: Brevis, Stubbs, Snyman light up T20 Challenge

His inclusion means the Proteas could field an explosive middle-order with David Miller and Aiden Markram both in outstanding form in the IPL.

Paceman Nortje has also been playing in the IPL, proving his recovery from back and hip injuries, and will be playing for South Africa for the first time since the T20 World Cup last November.

Sad news for Fortuin & Mulder

From that squad that performed admirably in the UAE, sadly falling just short of the semi-finals, spinner Bjorn Fortuin and all-rounder Wiaan Mulder have unfortunately lost their places, being replaced by pacemen Marco Jansen and Wayne Parnell, both of whom are useful lower-order batsmen too.

South Africa were only allowed to take 15 players to the T20 World Cup, but have selected 16 for the India tour as they finalise preparations for the next edition of the global showpiece, in Australia at the end of October.

Also read: T20 Challenge: These are the players who’ve stuck up their hands

Fortuin performed highly creditably for the SA A team in Zimbabwe, but Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj are always going to be ahead of him in the spinners’ queue. If one of them gets injured then Markram could fill in and, with their being at least two days between all five matches in India, Fortuin could always be flown in if necessary.

Parnell is arguably a more explosive batsman than Mulder and his left-arm swing bowling offers variety to the attack, with fellow left-armer Jansen generally using his height to hit the deck hard.

South Africa’s first match in India is on June 9 in Delhi.

Squad: Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Tristan Stubbs, Heinrich Klaasen, Dwaine Pretorius, Wayne Parnell, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Tabraiz Shamsi, Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi.

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