South Africa have named Quinton de Kock as skipper for the T20I series against India while naming newly contracted player, Rassie van der Dussen as his deputy. There are three other newcomers in the shortest format of the game with Anrich Nortje, Temba Bavuma and all-rounder Bjoin Fortuin making an entry.
Faf du Plessis wasn’t included in the T20 team but will captain the Test team with Temba Bavuma named as his deputy. Nortje makes an appearance in the Test team too while wicket-keeper batsman Rudi Second and spinner Senuran Muthuswamy also make appearances. Dane Piedt was meanwhile recalled to the Test team.
“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 CSA Acting Director of Cricket, Corrie van Zyl, 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.”
South Africa are prepared for a trial by spin and have named three spinners in their team. Hashim Amla’s retirement has opened up a spot and Theunis de Bruyn will battle it out with Zubayr Hamza for the position.
“Zubayr Hamza made an impressive start to his Test career against Pakistan last season when Faf du Plessis was ruled out and the retirement of Hashim Amla creates a further opportunity for him,” said Van Zyl.
There are four fast bowlers in the team with Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Vernon Philander joined by Nortje. With Dale Steyn retired and Dianne Olivier taking the Kolpak route, there was room for Nortje to be fast-tracked into the side. Meanwhile, Chris Morris, CSA informed, surprisingly opted out of the series to play for Hampshire in the T20 Blast.
Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn and Lungi Ngidi were excused from T20 selection with the three set to take part in a four-day game against India A with the the South Africa A squad.
“As far as the T20 squad is concerned, 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,” van Zyl said. “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.”
Meanwhile, de Kock’s position as skipper could be temporary with Van Zyl pointing out that they were intent on taking a glance at the leadership group.
“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,” explained van Zyl. “This is our last chance to do this before we settle on an established squad.”
Test match squad: 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.
T20I squad: 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.