- Proteas convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang hopes for excellent returns from Rilee Rossouw in the T20 World Cup next month.
- Rossouw has played well for the Proteas since he came back from a six-year Kolpak-enforced hiatus, but also has a World Cup score to settle.
- Mpitsang also has hopes that his bowling group will deliver in Australia.
Proteas convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said he can’t wait to see how Rilee Rossouw will perform at the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
In the recently concluded T20 series against England in which Rossouw made his return to the national team after a six-year hiatus, the left-hander reeled off scores of 4, 96* and 31 as SA bounced back from a big defeat in the first game to win the series 2-1.
Mpitsang played with Rossouw towards the end of his career at the Knights and knows about his potential.
He marvelled at Rossouw’s contributions in the England series and hopes he can carry them over to Australia next month.
“We’ve seen the impact of the players who played overseas and have come back to play for the national team and in domestic cricket,” Mpitsang said.
“They know their games and I’ve seen Rilee play through his stages, but the roles he played against England were great to see.
“He threw the first punch when we were under pressure, so it’s good to see how he’s performed, so we hope he continues that good form in the World Cup.”
Mpitsang is also chuffed with the bowling group they have put together for the tournament as Australia’s grounds will ask different questions of teams from a bowling and fielding perspective.
Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Anrich Nortje, Dwaine Pretorius and Wayne Parnell will be entrusted with the ball.
The travelling reserves in Marco Jansen, Bjorn Fortuin and Andile Phehlukwayo are also primarily bowlers.
Mpitsang has faith in his bowling group, especially on early season Australian surfaces.
“We have a good combination of bowlers and on most occasions, we’ve played two spinners,” Mpitsang said.
“We’ve also had Aiden Markram, so we’ve got a nice bunch of bowlers and at times, the only way to restrict the run rate in T20 cricket is to take wickets.
“If you look at that bowling group, it is more than capable of putting teams under pressure.
We’ve seen the different variations that Wayne gives us with the ball late and upfront and how he bats.
“The way that Dwaine Pretorius has bowled in the middle and the end of the innings has also stood out.
“Andile did quite nicely in England, so it’s a good headache and backup to have.”