Five batsmen likely to rise to the Challenge

Janneman Malan needs a good CSA T20 Challenge to keep his hopes of Proteas selection alive. | BackpagePix

Janneman Malan needs a good CSA T20 Challenge to keep his hopes of Proteas selection alive. | BackpagePix

Published Mar 6, 2024


The 2024 edition of the T20 Challenge kicks off on Friday with South African cricket fans still buzzing after yet another successful SA20 tournament

The stage is then set to see what the domestic set-up has to offer, as this might be the last opportunity for some players to impress ahead of the T20 World Cup, which will be hosted in the US and Caribbean later this year.

The first few matches of the tournament will see full-strength teams taking to the field before the Proteas depart for the Indian Premier League (IPL). Here, Obakeng Meletse looks at five batsmen that might have the most impact leading up to the tournament.

Janneman Malan needs a good CSA T20 Challenge to keep his hopes of Proteas selection alive. | BackpagePix

Janneman Malan

Malan’s inclusion might raise a few eyebrows as he’s been missing in action.

From the highs of being a huge prospect and seen as the future of the Proteas set-up, to the low of being snubbed in the SA20 auction, this might just be the tournament for him to make a return in the runs column. Malan boasts a healthy strike rate of 129.6 in T20 cricket and as much as his career has been on the back burner, bowlers will aware of the damage he can do.

Matthew Breetzke will look to build on a successful SA20 earlier this year in the CSA T20 Challenge. | BackpagePix

Matthew Breetzke

The 25-year-old had a successful SA20 campaign, scoring a total of 416 runs at a strike rate of 135.50, with only Ryan Rickelton (530 runs) and Heinrich Klaasen (447 runs) outscoring him.

It’s been an impressive summer for the right-handed batsman, who also opened the batting for South Africa against India earlier in the summer. The T20 Challenge will be an ideal tournament for him to back up his performance in the SA20 and put his hand up for selection for the World Cup.

Reeza Hendricks is striking at 138.4 in the PSL. | BackpagePix

Reeza Hendricks

Never short of a good innings in a tournament or series, Reeza Hendricks will be looking for much-needed consistency in the T20 Challenge.

The tournament will be more about him being in the right space mentally, while working on his game, too. Hendricks has had the tendency to blow hot and cold in tournaments but his stint so far in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has yielded good results, with three half-centuries, while striking at 138.4 and he is currently on 299 runs with seven matches played.

The form shown in the PSL will come in handy when he returns to play in the CSA T20 Challenge and leading up to the World Cup.

Lahore Qalanders’ Rassie van der Dussen has much to prove in the upcoming CSA T20 Challenge. | EPA

Rassie van der Dussen

The 35-year-old was not part of the Proteas T20 side that drew 1-1 with India earlier in the summer, and will not form part of the players heading off to the IPL.

Currently representing the Lahore Qalandars in the PSL, Van der Dussen will be looking to pile on the runs and make it hard for coach Rob Walter to ignore him. Missing out on the IPL and being part of the T20 Challenge might not be the worst thing for him, as game time will be close to guaranteed, while he can build momentum as he fights for a place in the World Cup squad.

Ryan Rickelton can be his destructive best in the CSA T20 Challenge. | BackpagePix

Ryan Rickelton

The SA20 is quickly gaining a reputation for creating future stars and exposing talent, just like the IPL has done for many years.

Thanks to the SA20, it took one season for the world to know how destructive Rickelton can be. Unlucky to have missed out on a century, Rickelton scored an impressive 530 runs at a strike rate of 173.77. Fresh off a CSA Four-Day Series victory with the Lions, Rickelton will be on the hunt for that century and, hopefully, a ticket to the World Cup.