South Africa have named a relatively new-look squad for September’s T20I series against India, with a few notable omissions.
- The pace ace has retired from Test cricket, but remains available for T20I and ODI selection. ‘Obviously lost my number in the reshuffling of coaching staff,’ read Steyn’s cheeky post on social media. He was, of course, referring to interim team director Enoch Nkwe’s replacement of outgoing head coach Ottis Gibson and the decision to not renew the contracts of batting coach Dale Benkenstein, spin bowling coach Claude Henderson and fielding coach Justin Ontong.
- The wicketkeeper-batsman’s favour with the Proteas has dropped significantly over the past 12 months. Klaasen’s limited-overs prowess was on display for the Toronto Nationals in the Global T20 Canada, though. He became the first South African to score a century in the history of the tournament against the Winnipeg Hawks, which was complemented by a brisk 64 not out versus the Montreal Tigers 24 hours prior.
- The Cape Cobras opening batsman debuted at T20I level against Pakistan earlier this year and has since performed well at franchise level and for the South Africa Emerging squad. He will soon be with several Proteas Test cricketers during the upcoming spin-bowling camp in India, where the learning will continue. The decision to trial so-called Test specialist Temba Bavuma in the T20I squad has effectively been at the expense of Malan’s berth this time.
- The all-rounder was a late addition to the World Cup squad as a replacement for the injured Anrich Nortje. Morris took the most wickets for South Africa at the tournament and is currently with Hampshire for the T20 Blast. ‘Following his super performance at the World Cup, negotiations began on awarding him a new national contract but by then he had already made other commitments,’ said Cricket South Africa acting director of cricket Corrie van Zyl.
- The Warriors upstart, like Klaasen, is effectively the by-product of South Africa’s decision not to have a secondary wicketkeeper in the squad. The Knights’ Rudi Second will be first-choice wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock’s understudy in the Test squad, but reigning CSA T20I Player of the Year David Miller’s part-time glovework will evidently suffice for the limited-overs leg of the tour. Qeshile’s time, like Malan’s, will come again – but not for this series.
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