• Key trio return for Proteas

    Faf du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje have been added to the Proteas 16-man squad that will take on Australia in the upcoming three-match T20 International series.

    The series will take place from 21-26 February in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, respectively.

    The trio last saw international cricket action during the Test series against England, which was won 3-1 by the visitors. They were rested for the subsequent limited-overs series and now return in place of Reeza Hendricks, Beuran Hendricks and Sisanda Magala, while the selectors look to give the remainder of the squad that took on England a longer run.

    South Africa suffered a 2-1 T20 series loss to the tourists in yesterday’s deciding match in Centurion, but independent selector Linda Zondi is pleased with the fight that the team showed in the first two fixtures, noting in particular the resurgence of the batting unit.

    ‘The T20 series may not have been won but it was really pleasing to see our batting unit play so well,’ he commented. ‘They showed a lot of aggression, particularly up front, in every match which set a good foundation for the rest of the lineup to follow. The very exciting bursts of cricket that we were served up bode very well for the future, especially in the short term as we begin our hunt in earnest for the T20 World Cup squad.

    ‘As a selection panel, we are happy with the team that we have finalised for the Australia tour. We are confident that the return of Kagiso  and Anrich will provide the boost that the bowling unit needs in order to return to its dangerous ways and that the experience of Faf will add an extra dimension to the batting unit’s already fledgling prowess,’ Zondi concluded.

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    Proteas T20 squad vs Australia: Quinton de Kock (captain, wicketkeeper, Titans), *Temba Bavuma (Lions), Faf du Plessis (Titans), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions), David Miller (Dolphins), Pite van Biljon (Knights), Dwaine Pretorius (Lions), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Bjorn Fortuin (Lions), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Dale Steyn (Titans), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans).

    *Bavuma’s selection is dependent on the results of an MRI scan of his right hamstring he will undergo during the course of the day.

    Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

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