South Africa have announced their Test squad for the first two Test matches against England. The four-match series is slated to begin from 26th December in Centurion. Six Uncapped players have been included in the Test squad. Pieter Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Dwaine Pretorius, Rudi Second, Dane Paterson and Beuran Hendricks have earned their maiden call-up to the national side.
The selectors have decided to drop Theunis De Bruyn, wicket-keeper Heinrich Klaasen, Dane Piedt, Senuran Muthusamy and Lung Ngidi from the squad. Pacer Lungi Ngidi has been dropped after he suffered from a hamstring during Mzansi Super League. De Bruyn really struggled and could only score 82 runs in five Test outings. All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, who last made his appearance for South Africa against India at the Wanderers last year, has failed to get into the playing XI.
The Test squad was selected by a panel that consisted of Coach Mark Boucher, captain Faf du Plessis, assistant coach Enoch Nkwe and Linda Zondi. Dane Paterson has been rewarded as he is second on the list of leading wicket-taker in four-day competition this season. Left-arm medium pacer Beuran Hendricks has been picked to add more variety to the captain in terms of bowling options.
Pieter Malan has been a consistent performer as a specialist opening batsman in the four-day competition. He has been picked as a cover for Markram, who might not be fit in time for the opening Test at Centurion. Rudi Second is the second specialist wicket-keeper picked for this four-match Test series.
Rookie opener Raynard van Tonder, who is currently leading run-scorer in the four-day competition this season, has not been picked. With 546 runs at an average of 109.20, selectors might have gone for the experienced players for England series. Wicket-keeper batsman Kyle Verreynne also has done exceptionally well and accumulated 424 runs at an average of 70.66 with two centuries to his name.
South Africa squad (For first Two Tests): Faf du Plessis (captain), Zubayr Hamza, Anrich Nortje, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Beuran Hendricks, Keshav Maharaj, Pieter Malan, Aiden Markram, Vernon Philander, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second, Rassie van der Dussen