Coming off an impressive last few months in Test and ODIs, South African top-order batsman Hashim Amla has been picked to play in the upcoming only Twenty20 international between South Africa and India on Jan 9.
Amla has notched up an average of 26.00 and strike rate of 104.00 from just the two matches that he has played in the game's shortest format. But he has been the Rainbow Nation's most successful batsman in one-dayers for 2010, in fact aggregating the highest total of runs in the world for the past year.
Meanwhile, his compatriot, batsman Jacques Kallis and the new-ball pair of Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn, will be rested for the Twenty20 match. India might be slightly relieved that they won't be up against the calibre of these three players. After all, Kallis possesses an average of over 34 and a strike rate of nearly 120 in T20Is, while Steyn has a staggering bowling average of 18.31 and an economy rate of just 6.80 in the format, while Morkel bears a superior 15.80 average and 6.28 economy rate.
"We have decided to rest Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel because of the heavy workload they have had in the Castle Test series and the important roles they will have to play in the MTN ODI series against India as well as in the ICC Cricket World Cup," Convener of selectors Andrew Hudson said.
But India is still up against a formidable Twenty20 side. The unit which beat Pakistan in Nov's two-match Twenty20 series in the UAE will remain largely unchanged. Colin Ingram will be the man to watch out for for in that series he averaged 77 with a strike rate of 140, while paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe took the most wickets at 5, with a mind-boggling average of 7.20 and an equally startling economy rate of 4.5.
The match will be played at Moses Mabhida football stadium in Durban.
South Africa squad: Johan Botha (capt), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Colin Ingram, David Miller, Makhaya Ntini, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Graeme Smith, Rusty Theron, Lonwabo Tsotsobe