Aiden Markram, the Titans’ wunderkind captain, will make his Test debut against Bangladesh on 28 September.
Just days away from his 23rd birthday, Markram has been in the selectors’ sights for some time, being taken to England as part of the Test squad., He did not get an opportunity there, but is now assured of a starting position as part of the drive to blood younger players.
‘Aiden has been knocking on the door for some time now,’ said Linda Zondi, convener of the selection panel. ‘He gained valuable insight into the Proteas team culture on the tour to England and he has shown maturity beyond his years, having captained South Africa to victory in the U19 World Cup  and as captain of the South Africa A four-day side.’
Markram has emphasised his readiness and highlighted his form by scoring a century on his first day as Titans captain. He followed that up with a brisk 87 in partnership with his Test partner, Dean Elgar as they put on 184 against the Dolphin in the Sunfoil Series match.
The opening partnership has proved troublesome for the Proteas as Stephen Cook’s form faded and Heino Kuhn endured a torrid time in England. Theunis de Bruyn was also tried there with unhappy returns. Markram, despite his age, has long been touted as a solution.
The other uncapped player in the squad, named for the first Test only, in Potchefstroom, is all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo who was also part of the tour group to England.
Wayne Parnell, who has been playing in the Caribbean Premier League, has been recalled to the 13-man squad as an all-rounder as Vernon Philander, Chris Morris and Dale Steyn have all been ruled out through injury. Parnell, though, must first pass a fitness Test, and Wiaan Mulder has been put on standby as cover.
‘The inclusion of Andile and Wayne provides the necessary all-rounders to give options as concerns the balance of the starting XI,’ said Zondi. ‘The selection of some younger players is part of the process to build for the future and at the same time maintain our hard core of experience.’
Test squad: Faf du Plessis (Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Temba Bavuma (Cape Cobras), Theunis de Bruyn (Knights), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Dean Elgar (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Morne Morkel (Titans), Duanne Olivier (Knights), Wayne Parnell (Cape Cobras), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions).