New Zealand in SA
SA selectors look to the future
Cape Town - Selection convenor Andrew Hudson says South Africa's new-look T20 squad will give younger players a chance to make the step up in other formats.
The selectors showed faith in the Test team that defeated Australia in Perth last month, when they named a 13-man squad for two matches against New Zealand in January.
They included four uncapped players, however, in a 15-man squad for three T20 Internationals which will kick off the home tour against the Black Caps next week.
Titans opening batsman Henry Davids was called up, along with the Highveld Lions trio of teenager Quinton de Kock, spinner Aaron Phangiso and seamer Chris Morris.
“Creating a good mix will be the key to success,” Hudson said.
“Some of the older players will make way, but we will need some flair and we will see what these players can bring to the party.”
Faf du Plessis will replace AB de Villiers as captain of the T20 squad, which also boasts a new coach, Russell Domingo, who will replace Gary Kirsten in the short format.
Hudson said De Villiers was unlikely to play in all three T20 matches and they had opted for consistency through the series.
"AB de Villiers remains our first-choice captain in this format," he said.
"But AB is one of the players we need to rotate in the interest of his workload across all three formats and we want to have one captain for the entire series."
Du Plessis, 28, has played only four T20 Internationals, but he has 26 ODI caps and impressed on Test debut against Australia last month.
He made a ton and two half-centuries in his first two Tests, helping South Africa to a 1-0 series win Down Under.
"I believe we have chosen an extremely exciting squad of 15 players which will enable us both to rotate senior players and to provide opportunity to a new group of players," Hudson said.
JP Duminy, Colin Ingram and Albie Morkel were not considered due to injury, while Hudson said Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla would be rested.
Meanwhile, spinner Imran Tahir was dropped for the Test series, with the selection panel opting instead for veteran slow bowler Robin Peterson.
Tahir was left out along with Thami Tsolekile, who had travelled to Australia as back-up wicketkeeper, middle-order batsman JP Duminy, who is recovering from Achilles surgery, and all-rounder Ryan McLaren, who was called up as cover during the tour Down Under.
The selectors were confident that veteran all-rounder Kallis, who was unable to bowl in the second and third Tests, would recover in time after picking up a hamstring injury in Australia.
"This will get us back to the balance that has served us so well this year, with a combination of seven specialist batsmen and five specialist bowlers," Hudson said.
Hudson said De Villiers would continue to keep wicket, and while Tsolekile was not included in the squad, he would be on standby as the back-up 'keeper.
Proteas Test squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn.
Proteas T20 squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Henry David, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.