T20 World Cup 2024 – Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and Reeza Hendricks are South Africa's batting options

Here are South Africa's top six batting candidates who could be considered for the T20 World Cup

Firdose Moonda

Quinton de Kock's performances this IPL have not been consistent AFP/Getty Images

It's T20 World Cup team selection time and South Africa face some tough decisions in the composition of their traveling squad, not least because they haven't got a played together in 2024. Rob Walter will have to rely heavily on league stats, especially as he looks to occupy top-three spots, with at least six hitters in the mix. Here are the candidates:

Quinton de Kock

BBL: 104 runs at 17.33 average in six innings, SR: 120.93
SA20: 213 points at 19.36, 50 s: 1, SR: 123.12 in 12 rounds
IPL: 236 runs at 26.22 in nine innings, SR: 136.41 (as of April 28)

In most cases, de Kock is probably one of the first names on the team sheet, except maybe this time because he's not fit. Since last year's MLC, where he finished as second highest point scorer, de Kock came through a poor BBL and SA20 and only a slightly improved IPL. Compared to the numbers of some of the following players, it's hard to make a case for de Kock on form, but that may not be the only criterion. He left ODI cricket with four phenomenal centuries in last year's World Cup and with this T20 World Cup set to be his final international assignment, he may want to have a say in trophy ambitions from South Africa.

Faf du Plessis

SA20: 239 points at 29.87 average in 11 rounds, SR: 141.42
IPL: 288 runs at 28.80 in 10 innings, SR: 159.11 (as of April 28)

The latter parts of du Plessis' career were dominated by questions over whether he would make an international comeback after retiring from Test in 2020 and snubbing international white-ball cricket since then. His runs always suggested he should do it. Since last playing for South Africa, du Plessis has become a T20 fixture, scoring big runs in both the IPL and CPL. He also brings the experience of having competed in several high-pressure events in the past. At 39 he is in good shape and age shouldn't work against him, but if he wants to make an international comeback this seems to be his last chance and even that is slim. Du Plessis was the second highest scorer in last year's IPL, where he hit eight fifties with a strike rate above 150, so the argument for his inclusion might have been stronger if the Du Plessis Cup World T20 was held last year.

Reeza Hendricks

SA20: 172 points at 24.57 average in nine rounds, SR: 110.96
CSA T20: 440 runs at 36.66 with four fifties in 15 innings, SR: 140.12

If all was fair between the last T20 World Cup and this one, Hendricks would be de Kock's opening partner for 2024. He was on the bench for the 2022 tournament, despite being in a purple zone where he had scored four successive T20I fifties, due to the presence of captain Temba Bavuma. Hendricks did not leave the national team to continue his career abroad, but he continued to progress, accumulate points and bide his time. The problem? He hasn't really marked the points where they will be most noticed. Although Hendricks dominates the domestic T20 competition, he has not had the same impact at SA20 – arguably at a higher level – which may work against him as some of his competitors have racked up big numbers there.

Rassie van der Dussen

SA20: 328 points at 32.80 average in 10 rounds, SR: 147.74
CSA T20: 331 runs at 36.77 in 13 innings, SR: 136.77

Although often associated with reliability and stability, Van der Dussen is much more than an anchor and his attacking play has been on display in recent years. He is among South Africa's best ODI players, has done well in SA20 and CSA T20 and, like Faf du Plessis, has tournaments under his belt. However, at SA20, van der Dussen spoke about don't shoot the lights in T20Is and admitted he was “realistic” about his chances of making the team.

Ryan Rickelton

SA20: 530 points at 58.88 average with five fifties in 10 innings, SR: 173.77
CSA T20: 441 runs at 40.09 with four fifties in 15 innings, SR: 144.11

In terms of form, it would be impossible to ignore Rickelton. He has been the most consistent South African first-order hitter of 2024, with nine fifties in the SA20 and CSA T20 and maintains a strike rate above 140 in both. Rickelton doesn't have the reputation of a de Kock and hasn't traveled the same path as Hendricks, but neither of those things should rule him out. South Africa has long been guilty of choosing proven players instead of those who appear to be hitting their peak at the right time, so selecting Rickelton would also represent a more innovative selection policy that rewards players at the right time.

Matthew Breetzke

SA20: 416 points at 40.63 average in 13 rounds, SR: 135.50
CSA T20: 467 runs at 35.92 in 15 innings, SR: 131.17

The same can be said of Breetzke, who did better in the domestic competition and was one of the stars of the SA20 final and the Durban Super Giants. When DSG captain Keshav Maharaj spoke to ESPNcricinfo ahead of the SA20 playoffs, he called Breetzke a “real fighter” on the field and a “fierce competitor”, who is “ready for a long career in international cricket,” and all indications are that Walter thinks the same thing. Breetkze has been part of South Africa's last two T20I series – but without making a strong first impression – and what remains to be seen is whether Walter is brave enough to include him now or prefers to keep him behind the scenes for the future.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa and women's cricket correspondent

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