South Africa have announced the 15-member Test and T20I squad for the upcoming series against India. Fast bowler Anrich Nortje, keeper-batsman Rudi Second and spinner Senuran Muthusamy have earned the maiden call-ups for the Test squad. The squad will be led by Faf du Plessis whereas Temba Bavuma will be his deputy. The three-Test series will start from October 2 in Visakhapatnam.
Star batter Hashim Amla’s recent retirement can trouble them a bit and that too opens up a place in the top order. However, Zubayr Hamza is expected to fill the gap in the top-order. He made his Test debut earlier this year against Pakistan, coming in place for injured du Plessis.
After the retirement of Dale Steyn, the role of Anrich Nortje will be important in the squad. He played four ODIs against Sri Lanka earlier this year and was named in the World Cup squad too but a thumb fracture ruled him out of the tournament.
“All three newcomers to the Test side have more than earned their spurs through impressive performances in last season’s Four-Day Franchise competition,” said Corrie van Zyl, CSA Acting Director of Cricket, on Tuesday (August 13).
“We feel we have covered all the options for the conditions we are likely to encounter on the sub-continent with Muthusamy and Dane Piedt, who was far and away the leading wicket-taker in our Four-Day competition, providing the back-up to Keshav Maharaj,” Zyl further added.
Faf du Plessis (C), Temba Bavuma (VC), Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second.
South Africa even announced the squad for the three-match T20I series where Quinton de Kock will lead the series. Rassie van der Dussen, who recently earned himself a central contract from CSA for the season, has been chosen as his deputy. However, Markram, Lungi Ngidi and Theunis de Bruyn have not been included in the T20I squad. On the other hand, Chris Morris made himself unavailable for the series. Anrich Nortje will be there in the shortest format also.
“The T20 Series gives us the last chance to have a look at our leadership and batting options as the next edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is now little more than a year away which is why we have gone with an inexperienced leadership group. This is our last chance to do this before we settle on an established squad,” van Zyl shared.
“Temba Bavuma and Bjorn Fortuin were two of the standout players in the CSA T20 Challenge last season while Nortje was outstanding in the Mzansi Super League until ruled out by injury. This is very much a form squad with players being rewarded for their consistent performances at franchise level. This applies equally to Junior Dala and Jon-Jon Smuts,” Van Zyl concluded.
Quinton de Kock (C), Rassie van der Dussen (VC), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.