World Twenty20: South Africa team preview – De Villiers and Du Plessis bring the thunder, Tahir brings the lightning

A 90 per cent win rate in T20s over the past 12 months, and that includes two wins against the tournament favourites India.

Whether they can be as dominant as they were in their own backyard against sides such as England and Australia when they get to India remains to be seen, but they have plenty of reason to be optimistic.

All of their leading batsmen are IPL veterans. Their pace attack of Chris Morris, Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada provides enviable cutting edge. Imran Tahir will likely require some help carrying the slow bowling burden, though.

Coach: Russell Domingo

Tournament best: Third place in 2009

Match winner: Imran Tahir

The Proteas have plenty of batting firepower – AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, David Miller are standouts – but how they fare with the ball will likely dictate their chances.

Leg-spinners are a prized commodity in T20 cricket, and South Africa have a good one. Pakistan-born Tahir’s crazed wicket celebrations are something to behold.

New face: Kagiso Rabada

The young fast bowler showed he is a force at home by impressing against England recently. But what of foreign conditions, the type of which are the most alien?

It is hardly a direct comparison, but if Rabada can replicate the form he showed at the 2014 Under 19 World Cup on the slow, low pitches of the UAE, he should go fine.

Key match: South Africa v West Indies, Nagpur, March 25

Predicted finish: Semi-final

Squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Chris Morris, David Miller, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, David Wiese

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