South Africa squad - NatWest International T20 Series 2012
AB de Villiers (captain)
Quite simply one of the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket, de Villiers' ability to score through 360 degrees is arguably unparalleled. Innovative, powerful and decisive in his stroke-making, the 28-year-old, who serves as captain and wicketkeeper in the Proteas' limited-overs teams, was coming into form ahead of these games.
The calm right-handed batsman has swept all before him on this tour of England. His 482 runs in the Investec Tests included 311 not out at the Kia Oval and 335 in the NatWest Series featured 150 at the Ageas Bowl. His record in eight Twenty20 internationals before this series is modest, but England know what Amla can do.
The 28-year-old batsman helped to make Titans South Africa’s current T20 champions with 333 runs at an average of 66.6 and strike rate of 143.5. That form earned him a T20 international debut and selection for the World T20 squad, which is the same 15 as for these matches.
South Africa’s captain at the last World T20, the specialist off-spinner is also a capable lower-order batsman. He is set to form a spin pairing with with left-armer Robin Peterson. Botha is familiar with English conditions after representing Northamptonshire in last year’s Friends Life t20.
Duminy is a regular in the shortest format for South Africa and averages over 33 with the bat ahead of this rubber. His left-arm spin and prolific fielding are also an asset to a Proteas side with a variety of bowling options thanks to his like.
Francois du Plessis
Another exceptional athlete - and quite possibly the best fielder in South Africa's squad - du Plessis has yet to fully establish himself as an international cricketer. The batsman struggled for runs in the NatWest Series and was uncapped in T20s ahead of these contests.
One of the finest all-rounder’s of all time, Kallis goes into this series having played a single T20 international since May 2010. However, his 409 runs in 17 games during Kolkata Knight Riders’ victorious Indian Premier League campaign persuaded the selectors to give the 36-year-old another go in the shortest format.
The fastest T20 international centurion going into this rubber, having reached three figures from 45 balls versus New Zealand at Hamilton in March. That unbeaten 117, in his second international appearance, contained a record 13 sixes. The opening batsman will be looking to give the Proteas similarly quick starts against England.
A genuine all-rounder in the shorter forms, the elder Morkel brother can be particularly destructive with the bat as evidenced by his T20 international strike-rate of 144.3. However, at 31, it can be argued he has not lived up to the hype that accompanied his initial arrival on the international scene.
Morkel is an out-and-out fast bowler who has enjoyed consistent success in limited-overs cricket. His height enables him to gain steepling bounce off a good length, and - ominously for England - his levels of discipline and consistency appeared to improve as the preceding Tests and one-day internationals wore on.
An experienced all-rounder, Ontong's impact on the international scene has been minimal. In seven T20 internationals prior to this tour, the 32-year-old had modest records with his batting and off-spin bowling. He is most likely to be used as a middle-order batsman.
Something of a one-day specialist, Parnell has never quite lived up to the potential he showed in bursting on the international scene. He is, however, a canny left-arm paceman and improving batsman, who is often utilised up the order in domestic 20-over cricket.
A steady if unspectacular left-arm spinner, Peterson has enjoyed something of a second coming in the international arena. He was South Africa's leading wicket-taker in the last 50-over World Cup and impressed with ball and bat in the NatWest Series immediately prior to these T20s.
While not as successful in limited-overs cricket as in Tests, Steyn still provides a real threat with the white ball. England will doubtless continue to see him as the Proteas’ major danger up front with his outstanding bowling average of less than 20 in 21 T20 internationals before this trip.
An outstanding performer in ODIs, you need look no further than Tsotsobe’s record to see how important he is for South Africa. The left-arm seamer has not been as effective in T20 internationals but southpaw fast bowlers are considered to be among the most potent in the shortest form.