• Test debut for Rassie confirmed

    Proteas captain Faf du Plessis has confirmed batsman Rassie van der Dussen and all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius will debut in this week’s first Test against England at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

    Du Plessis also named spinner Keshav Maharaj in the XI.

    The hosts will be without batsman Temba Bavuma and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, who have been sidelined by injury.

    ‘Similar to ODI cricket‚ when Rassie started for the Proteas he was a matured cricketer and someone who knew his game very well‚’ said Du Plessis.

    ‘He came into international cricket looking very comfortable‚ over the last season and a half has been very fruitful and he scored a lot of runs with the white ball cricket.

    ‘We have been looking at him for a while and we want to see how he can fit in‚ but he is calm and composed with the bat.

    ‘You can just see it sometimes that he is suited for international cricket and that’s been the case with him.

    ‘It was easier to bring him into the team and I think he will be very much at home.’

    Wicketkeeper Rudi Second, seamers Beuran Hendricks and Dane Paterson and batsman Pieter Malan are the other uncapped players in the Proteas’ squad for the first half of the four-Test series.

    England all-rounders Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes’ participation in the series opener is in doubt. Woakes is ill and Stokes’ father has been hospitalised.

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    The Proteas recently hired former players Mark Boucher, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Charl Langeveldt in administrative and coaching roles.

    Smith has been appointed acting director of cricket, while Boucher has been hired as head coach. Kallis and Langeveldt are batting and bowling consultants, respectively.

    Fielding coach Justin Ontong and spin-bowling consultant Paul Harris are also among the staff.

    The series opener will mark the 150th Test between South Africa and England. The former have won 33 and the latter 61, with 55 draws.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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