Heinrich Klaasen and Keshav Maharaj have been included in an extended 18-man Proteas squad for the T20 World Cup, but there is no place for Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir or Chris Morris.
Another surprise omission is that of Janneman Malan, who has recently been impressive against Sri Lanka, but the Proteas have otherwise clearly looked to stick with a settled group of players.
Temba Bavuma will lead the team at the T20 global showpiece taking place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from 23 October to 14 November, with South Africa playing in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
This will also be the team that will take on Sri Lanka in the upcoming three-match T20I series in Colombo from 10-14 September, with the exception of Lungi Ngidi who has joined his IPL team, the Chennai Super Kings, to complete the CSA return-to-play protocols and to acclimatise to the conditions of the UAE before the start of that tournament.
The Proteas will be led against Sri Lanka by Keshav Maharaj, who took over the captaincy on an interim basis from Bavuma after the skipper fractured his right thumb in the first ODI last week.
‘There is no better time than now for us to bring home the trophy and bring the nation together in a way that only sport can,’ said CSA convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang. ‘We hope that South Africans will rally behind this team and cheer them all the way to the final.
‘We are confident that we have a well-balanced and well-thought-out World Cup squad, with reserve players that are more than capable and up to the job if called up for it. The team has blossomed well under the leadership of Temba Bavuma and we look forward to seeing his return to the international stage once he is fully recovered from injury.’
Mpitsang said the inclusion of Maharaj provides the team with an extra string to its spinning bow, together with his proven leadership credentials.
‘Kesh is an excellent leader. He has the backing of the team and us as a panel. He has more than proven his leadership skills in the Dolphins set-up and reinforced our good decision during the ODI series against Sri Lanka, which ended on Tuesday.
‘His exemplary captaincy is what we believe is in the best interests of the team’s stability during this last international series that the team gets to play ahead of the World Cup.’
Bavuma is expected to be declared fit in time for the tournament.
Proteas squad: Temba Bavuma (captain, Lions), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper, Titans), Bjorn Fortuin (Lions), Reeza Hendricks (Lions), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Aiden Markram (Titans), David Miller (Dolphins), Wiaan Mulder (Lions), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Dwaine Pretorius (North West Dragons), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions).
Proteas’ T20 World Cup Super 12 fixtures:
23 October: vs Australia (Abu Dhabi)
26 October: vs West Indies (Dubai)
30 October: vs A1 (Sharjah)
2 November: vs B2 (Abu Dhabi)
6 November: vs England (Sharjah)
10 November: Semi-final 1 (Abu Dhabi)
11 November: Semi-final 2 (Dubai)
14 November: Final (Dubai)