Morne Morkel has backed the idea of including Faf du Plessis in the South African squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia, citing his performances in the IPL as proof of his form. The pacer went on to commend South Africa’s team on the whole, expressing confidence over their chances.
Morne Morkel has come out in support of having Faf du Plessis return to the national side, in a bid to help the Proteas win their first ever World Cup. The 37-year-old last played for South Africa in the shortest format of the game over 20 months ago, which was incidentally his 50th T20I. Since, he has excelled in two seasons of the Indian Premier League, showcasing he has still got the goods.
In the 2021 season, Faf tallied an incredible 633 runs for Chennai Super Kings, only missing out on the purple cap by two runs. He followed it up with a tally of 468 runs in the latest season for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, captaining the side past the group stages. However, none of those performances so far have earned him a call back to the Temba Bavuma-led side, much to Morkel’s disappointment.
"You want all your big-name players to play and Faf is still playing well at the age of 37. He is still playing well, moving well in the field and he has done exceptionally well for RCB (in the IPL). I would like to see those experienced players in the side. That is up to them (Cricket South Africa) to work out, but I am definitely a big fan of it," he told ICC.
The former speedster is confident the Proteas have a strong squad at their disposal regardless of du Plessis’ inclusion. While it is pretty much a given that their trump card would be the fearsome bowling lineup, Morkel believes they have players who can make a real difference with the bat as well.
"I honestly believe they have an attack that is going to suit these conditions well. Kagiso Rabada is a world class performer, Anrich Nortje did very well at the IPL and Shamsi is a quality spinner. I do believe that it is a well-balanced squad and in T20 cricket these days the teams are so close," he said.
"From a batting perspective, you can't not mention Quinton De Kock as he has been in some fantastic form. Aiden Markram is another quality player, while Bevuma finds the way to score runs and rotate the strike although he is not is not your conventional T20 player. On these big fields (in Australia) where you can hit pockets and run well, he is going to be a big player.”
South Africa’s T20 World Cup campaign in Australia is slated to start on the 27th of October and will see them clash against Bangladesh in the opening encounter.