Durban - National convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson said 'there was something special' about under-19 World Cup winner Kagiso Rabada after handing the rookie fast bowler his maiden Proteas' call-up on Tuesday.
The Highveld Lions' paceman was amongst three uncapped players named in a 14-man squad to play three Twenty20 squad in Australia in November.
Rabada joined Knights batting pair Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw in a squad that would be lead by a new captain JP Duminy, who would lead his country for the first time.
"He's done very well at under-19 level and we all know he has amazing ability and talent," Hudson said at the team announcement in Durban.
"He spent some time with the squad up in Zimbabwe, where he had a feel of the Proteas set-up.
"And the feedback has been really positive, particularly from Russell Domingo, to say that he really feels Kagiso has got something special. So it's an opportunity to expose him."
Hudson admitted that past criticism cast in the direction of the selectors had also prompted Rabada's call-up.
"I think historically we've been criticised for not exposing guys soon enough and young enough.
"It's an opportunity for him to show us what he can do in a T20 format, which is a little easier to expose guys to on the highest level compared to Test cricket."
Several senior players have been rested for the T20 leg of the tour, which features a three-match one-day series against New Zealand next month and a five-game November ODI series versus Australia.
The likes of regular captain Faf du Plessis, one-day skipper AB de Villiers and Test head Hashim Amla would not play in the shortest format, leaving Duminy to take charge.
"JP has been named captain primarily because we're resting Faf. He has had an enormous workload over the last couple of months, so we just felt a break for him would be good."
Titans paceman Marchant de Lange was also named and is set to play his first T20 game for over two years.
Despite the big news coming from the T20 squad, the main focus for the Proteas at this stage was next year's 50-over World Cup.
The squad announced on Tuesday was largely unchanged after their success on the recent tour to Zimbabwe, with Vernon Philander the only major inclusion after returning from injury.
The Cape Cobras seamer takes over from Mthokozisi Shezi in the only change to the squad that won the tri-series against the Zimbabweans and Australia.
"The squad for the World Cup is almost finalised. I think, barring one or two injuries and a few coming back from injury, there are 17 or 18 players that pretty much confirm they will be the players who will be going."
The selection chief, however, insisted the door was not entirely closed on players who stand out in the forthcoming domestic one-day competition, which starts next month.
Proteas T20 team: JP Duminy (captain), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Marchant de Lange, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnel, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, David Wiese.
Proteas ODI team: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn.