Having fought back brilliantly to level the three-match ODI series against the West Indies in Potchefstroom on Tuesday, the Proteas will head into the T20 series with plenty of confidence and self-belief.
The first match between the Proteas and visitors from the Caribbean is on Saturday, with the second match on Sunday. Both are scheduled for SuperSport Park. The third match is next Tuesday at the Wanderers.
The Proteas will be led for the first time in the T20 format by new captain Aiden Markram, who took charge of the side in the final ODI on Tuesday when Temba Bavuma was rested because of a hamstring niggle.
Markram’s team beat the Windies by four wickets after chasing down a target of 261 with more than 20 overs remaining.
The West Indies won the second game after the first match was rained out, leaving the series drawn at 1-1.
Heinrich Klaasen, who scored 119 off 61 balls in Potchefstroom, won’t be the only Proteas player going into the T20 series in good form.
Markram recently hit a century and 96 in the Test series against the Windies, while Marco Jansen, who’s due to come in down the batting order, has also shown good form with the bat.
Also, Rilee Rossouw, who didn’t feature in the ODI series, has been producing the T20 goods in the Pakistan Super League.
Rossouw, who plays for the Multan Sultans, finished third highest run-scorer with 453 runs in 11 innings, with a highest score of 121 and average 45.30. His strike rate of 171.59 was one of the best of the competition.
Bjorn Fortuin and Sisanda Magala, following their good showing in the SA20, will be keen to make their mark, though Magala recently split the webbing on his right hand and is in a race against time to be fit to play in the series.
Also, Reeza Hendricks, who was in the squad but didn’t feature in the ODIs, has a right ring finger injury.
The good news is the Proteas welcome back Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, who didn’t feature in the ODI series.
It is also understood that Bavuma has been added to the T20 squad following his recent good form in the Test and ODI arenas. This is yet to be confirmed by team management.
Proteas T20 squad
Aiden Markram (capt), Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Sisanda Magala, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs
T20 series fixtures
Saturday, 25 March at 2pm: SuperSport Park, Centurion
Sunday, 26 March at 2pm: SuperSport Park, Centurion
Tuesday, 28 March at 6pm: Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg