South Africa’s seasoned top-order batsman, Hashim Amla makes his way back into the Test squad after recovering from an injury as the Proteas unveiled their squad to take on the touring Pakistan team later this month.
Pakistan will face South Africa in their backyard in a two-match Test series starting from December 26, followed by five One Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals. The tour will conclude on February 6, 2019, with the third T20I of the series.
South Africa’s skipper Faf Du Plessis will have a strong bowling attack at his disposal in the likes of experienced Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and the aggressive Kagiso Rabada. Keshav Maharaj is the only spinner in the 13-member squad.
However, Lungi Ngidi will miss the series against Pakistan due to a knee injury which he suffered in a T20I game against Australia last month, Duanne Olivier is included in the squad in place of him.
Proteas recently struggled against Sri Lanka as they got beaten by the hosts in the two-match Test series by 2-0. However, they will be hoping for a better result against Pakistan, playing in their home ground. Their batting line looks firm with Quinton De Kock, Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram and Temba Bavuma.
A surprise entrant in the squad is Zubayr Hamza. The 23-year-old right-handed batsman is highly regarded by the cricket experts and he is in South Africa’s long-term plans.
“Zubayr has been one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into South Africa A tour to India where he averaged over 50 in the four-day series against tough opposition and under tough conditions,” said CSA National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi.
“His selection is part of our vision for the future as we start to feed new players into the system,” Zondi explained. “It is inevitable that some of our senior players will start thinking of retiring in years to come and it is vital that we have a good succession plan in place.”
Pakistan have not announced their squad for South Africa’s tour yet.
Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma , Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn