Will South Africa’s batting unit find its mojo at the right time?

Team South Africa (Image: ICC)






These are not some secret code numbers, but the totals accumulated by South Africa in the T20 World Cup so far. It is true that the conditions in all those matches, including the one played in St Vincent, were extremely tricky for batting. It is also a fact that the Proteas won all those games. But somewhere, you wonder whether all those low scores and collapses would have hurt the confidence of a formidable batting unit. It doesn’t take long for a batter to lose his rhythm. 

One small error and an innings could be over. For the rest of the match, all that the player can do is chirp a few encouraging words on the field to his bowlers. Just think of the mental battle Aiden Markram could be facing. He averaged under 25 in the IPL 2024. In the subsequent T20 World Cup, he has scores of 12, 0, 4 and 15. 

It includes a dismissal where he was caught via a strangle down the leg-side and then an inside-edge onto the stumps. In particular, the first dismissal, which came against Nepal, could result in a despondent batter thinking on the lines that nothing is going right for him.  Markram’s responsibility is a lot more than wielding a willow, as he is also the captain of the T20I side. In that backdrop, it would be interesting to see how he reacts to the immense pressure he is under, in the Super 8s, where they would start their campaign with a game against the United States of America. 

It isn’t just Markram who has been grappling with lack of runs, as only the experienced David Miller has crossed the 100-run mark. Quinton de Kock has aggregated a mere 49 runs, while Reeza Hendricks has 62 runs to his name. Tristan Stubbs and Heinrich Klaasen have done slightly better by compiling 88 and 78 runs respectively. 

Amid all the doom and gloom, there is a ray of hope for South Africa: The two venues where the Proteas are set to play their Super 8 games are set to be more batting-friendly. Incidentally, the Darren Sammy Stadium is renowned for tall scores being notched up.  

Ultimately, it might come down to that one shot where the batter would feel as if everything is in sync and he is back in form. Unfortunately for South Africa, an entire batting unit seems to be out of nick. In that backdrop, the USA would believe they have a window of opportunity to do another of their giant-killing acts and pip the fancied South Africa side at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound in Antigua.