South Africa will look for a clean sweep when they take on the Netherlands in the three-match One Day International series starting Friday at SuperSport Park.
The series is part of the International Cricket Council’s World Cup Super League which is the qualifying tournament for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
host India And the seven other best-ranked teams will automatically qualify for the World Cup, with the remaining five teams in the Super League playing in a ten-team qualifying tournament to fill the other two spots in India.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an imbalance in the number of fixtures played in the league, South Africa are currently ranked ninth outside the automatic qualification places.
A win against the Netherlands and a home series against Bangladesh in March will give the Proteas some breathing room in their qualifying bid, which will feature potentially tough series against India, Australia and England.
South Africa have taken a small gamble by resting six key players, including white-ball regular captain Temba Bavuma, ahead of a Test series against India next month.
They were further weakened on Wednesday when Cricket South Africa announced that fast bowler Lungi Ngidi had been withdrawn from the team after testing positive for Covid, while fellow pacer Lijad Williams was injured.
South Africa should still be very strong for a Netherlands team that failed to win a match and were eliminated after the first round of the recent T20 World Cup.
The hosts will nonetheless be wary of the underdogs, who thrashed Ireland 2-1 in the league’s only series in June. A month later South Africa could only share the honors against Ireland, losing one match and raining the other.
The Netherlands team consists of five South African-born players, including the 36-year-old veteran left-arm spinning all-rounder Roolof van der Merwe, who played 13 One Day Internationals and 13 T20 Internationals for South Africa between 2009 and 2011. .
South Africa: Keshav Maharaj (Captain), Junior Dala, Darin Dupavillon, Zubair Hamza, Reeza Hendrix, Sisanda Magala, Janman Malan, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwayne Pretorius, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kyle Verne (Zone), Khaya .
Netherlands: Peter Seelar (c), Colin Ackerman, Bass de Leed, Scott Edwards (wk), Clayton Floyd, Brandon Glover, Boris Gorley, Viv Kingma, Fred Klaasen, Stephen Myberg, Moses Nadeem, Max O’Dowd, Tim van der Guggen, Roolof van der Merwe, Saqib Zulfikar.
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