The Proteas squads for the September and October tour of India, which will comprise three T20Is and as many Tests, have been named.
- Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen have been named vice-captains of the Test and T20I squad, respectively. The latter choice is particularly intriguing and a testimony to the quick rise of the reigning International Newcomer of the Year, who recently won a national contract. David Miller is in the squad and has captained the T20I XI, but Van der Dussen was preferred as Quinton de Kock’s deputy.
Pressure on Nortje
- Cricket South Africa continues to invest in Anrich Nortje. Dale Steyn’s partial retirement has effectively fast-tracked Nortje’s progression to the Test squad. He has also been named in the T20I squad. Nortje has played four ODIs, but is untested in the shortest and longest formats of the international game. This is a fast bowler recovering from a shoulder injury that curtailed participation in the 2018 Mzansi Super League. It also disallowed a stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League this year. A hand injury then ruled him out of the 2019 World Cup. His heavy workload needs acute management.
Second chance for Smuts
- Jon-Jon Smuts played the last of eight T20Is 18 months ago, but has been given a chance to add to the tally. While several other ageing T20I pretenders – Christiaan Jonker, Robbie Frylinck and others – have evidently been discarded, Smuts has more to offer. Tabraiz Shamsi is the senior spinner in a squad that also sports the uncapped Bjorn Fortuin. Smuts’ part-time left-arm spin might prove more valuable than a primary role with the bat.
First time for Second
- Rudi Second has paid the proverbial dues for the Knights and South Africa A for several seasons. Formal recognition is finally his. He has been selected as the secondary Test wicketkeeper ahead of young upstarts Sinethemba Qeshile, Kyle Verreynne and others. The onus is on him to avoid a repeat of Dane Vilas’ Test career. The former Proteas wicketkeeper welcomed a first Test at 30 years old, but lasted just five more.
Muthusamy in the making
- The Proteas continue to place great value in left-arm spin, with the ball largely turning away from the right-handers. Senuran Muthusamy’s inclusion underpins this. Advantageously, he comes with a first-class average of 33-plus, which Keshav Maharaj doesn’t have and several left-arm spin predecessors – Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Tabraiz Shamsi and Paul Harris – didn’t.
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