Cricket South Africa have announced their Test squad for the 3-Test series in India, starting in October.
In a bid to move on from the retirements of Tests greats Dale Steyn and Hashim Amla, CSA have included batsman, Zubayr Hamza and fast bowler, Anrich Nortje in their 15-man Test squad.
Hamza made an impressive start to his Test career on his debut in January 2019, where he scored a confident 41 in his debut innings. He is an exciting young batsman that thoroughly deserves another chance in the Test squad.
Anrich Nortje blew everyone away in the Mzansi Super Leauge last year, and again when he made his ODI debut for the Proteas thereafter. After a string of unfortunate injuries, Nortje is now back to full fitness and a very good inclusion to the Test team.
Rudi Second and Senuran Muthusamy have been rewarded for good domestic performances, as acting CSA Director of Cricket, Corrie van Zyl said:
All three newcomers to the Test side have more than earned their spurs through impressive performances in last season’s Four-Day Franchise competition.
We feel we have covered all the options for the conditions we are likely to encounter on the sub-continent with Muthusamy and Dane Piedt, who was far and away the leading wicket-taker in our Four-Day competition, providing the back-up to Keshav Maharaj
There is talk on social media suggesting that Temba Bavuma is over-rated and should not be in included in the Test squad, which I find incredibly insulting to the batsman.
Bavuma has played 36 Tests and averages 33, with 13 half-centuries and one century to his name. In the 15 Test series’ he has played, he has averaged over 40 seven times, and averages over 50 on three occasions.
Bavuma is a gritty cricketer who never gives up and fights till the last moment. He is also an exceptional fielder and that is exactly what South Africa need at the moment. His inclusion in the Test side is absolutely deserved.
I am however disappointed that neither Malan brother has been included in the Test squad. Both Pieter and Janneman have had fantastic domestic seasons and I am hopeful that if not now, they will be included in the home series against England at the end of this year.
The 3-Test series begins on October 2nd
The full Test squad is as follows:
Faf du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, KG Rabada & Rudi Second.