Despite not playing any cricket since the end of December, Steyn was named in the 15-man squad to be captained by Faf du Plessis for the tournament that starts for the bigger nations on March 15. An eight-term pre-qualifying event will take place from March 8, with two teams going into the draw for the main tournament.
Steyn injured his right shoulder during the first Test against England in December, and after several tests it was found that a bone in that part of his body had gotten hurt. Mystery surrounds how that happened or even why, but he is set for a return during the three-match T20 series with Australia that takes place in the first week of March, where he can hopefully prove his fitness.
There are no real surprises in the team that was named on Wednesday, with the selectors sticking largely to the tried and tested. “We have a lot of experience in this group with 10 of the players having played in the last World Twenty20 in 2014, also on the sub-continent,” said selection convener Linda Zondi.
Aaron Phangiso, following last November’s drunken indiscretion on a flight back from India following South Africa’s limited overs series there, has also retained his place.
“The inclusion of Aaron means that we have all our spin bowling options covered with he, Imran Tahir and JP Duminy offering the different varieties. Left-arm spin bowlers tend to play big roles under Indian conditions.”
South Africa, twice semi-finalists in the competition, including the last edition in Bangladesh in 2014, face England in their opening match in Mumbai on March 18.
Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock , AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese
SA’s World T20 Schedule
March 18 – vs England, Mumbai
March 20 – vs Qualifier, Mumbai
March 25 – vs West Indies, Nagpur
March 28 – vs Sri Lanka, Delhi
Independent MediaSA’s selectors have pinned their hopes on Dale Steyn making a full recovery in time for the World T20 tournament.
Original source: SA squad for ICC World Twenty20