Poor weather will not derail Proteas build-up to T20 World Cup, says skipper

The second T20I between SA and India is scheduled to be held in Gqeberha on Tuesday night.

Their limited time together could be reduced even more this week, if the weather doesn’t play along, but Proteas captain Aiden Markram believes the national squad will have sufficient preparation in the build-up to next year’s T20 World Cup.

With cloud cover and rain again predicted in Gqeberha on Tuesday, the second T20 match between South Africa and India is in danger of being called off after the series opener was abandoned without a ball being bowled in Durban on Sunday night.

Should Tuesday’s fixture (scheduled for 5pm) be cancelled, it would turn the three-match T20 series into a one-game campaign.

However, though the Proteas had only three more official games ahead of the T20 World Cup (against co-hosts West Indies before the 2024 tournament), Markram felt members of the national squad would have enough game time in the build-up to the showpiece (to be held in June) by competing in international leagues in the short format, including the second edition of the SA20.

“Building up to the World Cup, there’s not a lot of cricket for us together as a team but there is a lot of cricket in-between,” Markram said.

“So it’s not necessarily a challenge, as long as the guys understand the way we want to try play as a team and can keep that close to them when playing in different leagues and tournaments.

“Then hopefully by the time we meet up to go to the World Cup next year, the guys are used to that brand and used to the way that we want to operate as a team.”

Miller milestone

The third and final T20 International between South Africa and India will be played at the Wanderers on Thursday, before the two sides meet for the first of three ODI fixtures at the same venue in Johannesburg on Sunday.

If the game goes ahead on Tuesday, David Miller is likely to play his 100th T20 innings (in his 115th match).

Since making his debut against West Indies in 2010, the 34-year-old batter has gone on to establish his place as a key member of the national squad.

Miller’s T20I career has included 2,216 runs at an average of 34.09 and he will be eager to make another impact this week. He will also be looking to surpass Quinton de Kock – who is unavailable for the series against India – as South Africa’s leading run-scorer in T20I cricket, with De Kock having racked up a career total of 2,277.

At the other end of the spectrum, seam bowlers Nandre Burger and Ottniel Baartman will be hoping to make their international debuts, while opening batter Matthew Breetzke is expected to play the second T20I of his career in the absence of De Kock.