South Africa name Maharaj in World Cup squad, de Kock to retire post World Cup

Keshav Maharaj has recovered from an Achilles’ injury sustained in March and has been included in South Africa’s World Cup squad alongside Gerald Coetzee.

Cricket South Africa announced their 15-member squad for the ODI World Cup starting next month in India. Keshav Maharaj, who was initially doubtful for the tournament due to an Achilles’ rupture, has been named in the squad. 

Maharaj had sustained the injury in a Test against West Indies in March and was expected to be out of action for the remainder of the year. But the left arm spin all-rounder has had a remarkable turnaround, recovering just in time for the marquee tournament. He made his return to cricket in the third T20I against Australia on September 3rd. 

Maharaj will be one of South Africa’s two frontline spinners in the tournament, alongside Tabraiz Shamsi, and is a big key in providing the balance to the side. The Proteas will also have Aiden Markram’s off-spin to call upon in Indian conditions. His inclusion meant that there was no place for Bjorn Fortuin, who has been a part of South Africa’s recent white-ball squads. 

South Africa have opted to go pace heavy, naming six quicks in the 15-man squad. The pace battery will be led by Kagiso Rabada, and includes Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi, Marco Jansen, Sisanda Magala and Gerald Coetzee. Magala is currently recovering from a knee injury while Coetzee was preferred over Wayne Parnell.

“We really want to have four high-quality fast bowlers on the park at most times. That’s a strategy South African cricket has done well with. Parny was definitely one of the tough decisions to make. He would have formed part of that six-strong fast-bowling group, but we went for Gerald as someone who has got a little bit of extra pace,” said Rob Walter, South Africa’s white-ball coach.


The Proteas batting line-up looks pretty solid with captain Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen and David Miller. The latter four have plenty of experience of playing in India in the IPL. Reeza Hendricks, who has been in pretty good form, will be the backup batting option in the squad. His selection meant that Tristan Stubbs was unfortunate to miss out.

In the build-up to the World Cup, South Africa  are scheduled to play five ODIs against Australia from September 7. They will have the same squad that will travel to India, and Fortuin.

South Africa World Cup squad: Temba Bavuma (capt), Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, Gerald Coetzee, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi

Quinton de Kock set to quit ODIs after World Cup 

Meanwhile South Africa’s star opening batter Quinton de Kock has decided to call time on his ODI career at the conclusion of the ODI World Cup. He is likely to continue playing for South Africa in the shorter format at least till the 2024 World Cup.

De Kock’s sudden decision to quit the fifty-over format could be down to his availability for South Africa. As per reports, it was becoming an issue for the board as he looks to secure more T20 league contracts around the globe.

The 30-year-old was drafted by Melbourne Renegades in Australia’s Big Bash League, which runs during December and January. This meant he was going to be unavailable for the white-ball series against India at home, comprising three T20Is and three ODIs and scheduled between December 10 to 21.

De Kock has represented South Africa in 140 ODIs so far, scoring 5966 runs at an average of 44.85 with 17 hundreds and 29 fifties.

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