Rudolph back in Proteas squad

2011-10-22 12:32

Johannesburg - Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Saturday recalled Jacques Rudolph of the Titans to the Test squad after an absence of five years and also named two new caps in Dolphins leg spinner Imran Tahir and Cape Cobras bowling all-rounder Vernon Philander.

The selectors have named a squad of 14 for the two-Test series against Australia which starts at Newlands on November 9 with the second match at the Wanderers Stadium a week later.

The squad includes Titans batsman AB de Villiers who is recovering from a hand fracture and will be subjected to a fitness Test before the start of the series.

Rudolph played the last of his 35 Tests against Sri Lanka in August, 2006, and then went into a self-imposed exile in 2007 when he signed a Kolpak contract with Yorkshire with the aim of developing himself into a more complete cricketer. His intention was always to resume his international career for the Proteas.

He has certainly achieved that and has returned to South African cricket as a dominant player. He scored four centuries and made more than 900 first-class runs last season. He then led a successful South Africa A tour to Zimbabwe and made centuries in two of his last three games for Yorkshire in the off-season.

This season he has gone from strength to strength, making more than 500 runs in three matches, including two centuries, one of which was a double.

Imran and Philander have both represented the Proteas in the limited overs format but have yet to play in five-day Test matches.

“Jacques will open the batting with Graeme Smith,” commented selection convener Andrew Hudson. “His experience and current form make him an asset to the Proteas and at the age of 30 he has plenty of good years of cricket ahead of him.

“Jacques has underlined once again the importance of good domestic form and the fact that it is the gateway to national selection.”

The selectors also announced the South Africa 'A' squad to play Australia in a four-day tour match at Senwes Park from November 1-4.

Alviro Petersen of the Highveld Lions will captain the side. Rilee Rossouw of the Knights could not be considered because of injury while there are interesting new fast bowling options in Pumelela Matshikwe of the Highveld Lions and Marchant de Lange of the Titans.

“The 'A' side must be seen as a mix of players challenging for places in the Proteas’ squad as well as others we have identified as having the potential for the future and whom we now need to test at a higher level than franchise cricket,” commented Hudson.

“We have to explore our options for the future.”

Proteas Test squad:
Graeme Smith (Cape Cobras, captain), AB de Villiers (Titans, vice-captain), Hashim Amla (Dolphins), Mark Boucher (Cape Cobras), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Paul Harris (Titans), Imran Tahir (Dolphins), Jacques Kallis (Cape Cobras), Morne Morkel (Titans), Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras), Ashwell Prince (Warriors), Jacques Rudolph (Titans), Dale Steyn (Cape Cobras), Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Warriors)

South Africa 'A' squad:
Alviro Petersen (Highveld Lions, captain), Farhaan Behardien (Titans), Marchant de Lange (Titans), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Dean Elgar (Knights), Heino Kuhn (Titans), Pumelela Matshikwe (Highveld Lions), Ryan McLaren (Knights), Wayne Parnell (Warriors), Robin Peterson (Cape Cobras), Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras), Stiaan van Zyl (Cape Cobras)


  • James - 2011-10-22 13:15

    YES!! With Tahir and Rudolph in the squad we are definately headed in the right direction. Formidable batting, aggressive bowling, great wicketkeeper and a hands-on internationally respected coaching staff will lead SA cricket forward!

  • Utopian - 2011-10-22 13:39

    Well-deserved. I am nonetheless pleasantly surprised by this apolitical move by cricketsa. Funny that Jacques was not in the ODI squad since that is his most successful format, topping the logs in two countries in that format for so many years.

  • Jacques - 2011-10-22 13:40

    VERNON PHILANDER TO PLAY TESTS?! What is this? Some sort of Chernobil-scale meltdown?? He is at the very best a handy backup for the T20 squad... oh my soul!

      Simon - 2011-10-24 14:44

      Correct. He is useless and the laziest cricketer around. If you go watch live you notice how slow he is and lazy to chase balls in the field, basically the selectors have to make strides in transformation and he is maybe the best of no bunch at all

  • marco.tomaso - 2011-10-22 14:46

    Rudolph is usually a number 3 batmen so does that mean Kallis slots in at number 4 to make way for Rudolph or do CSA get rid of either JP Duminy or Ashwell Prince or both?He can play as an opening batsman with Amla which I'd rather prefer cause that should dump Graeme Smith out and into the skip where he belongs.Sadly CSA has already decided where they'll play him. "Jacques Rudolph will open the batting with Graeme Smith," selection convener Andrew Hudson said. What I don't get is when Rudolph stop playing for SA cricket in 2007 it was of he's own doing.He voluntarily signed as a Kolpak contract player for Yorkshire with the aim of developing himself into a more complete cricketer,he claims.But now he's back in the SA Cricket fold so I guess that's all in the past right and irrelevant.

      James - 2011-10-22 15:04

      Rudolph has been opening the batting at first-class level for years now for Yorkshire and the Titans. Perhaps he will move into the middle order in ODIs - he is an incredibly versatile player now capable of batting anywhere in the top 6 in any form of the game.

      Staalbal - 2011-10-24 09:25

      Obviously the Kolpak contract did exactly that.

      Steward - 2011-10-26 17:34

      As long as they get rid of Prince I'm happy. Never impressed me in the team. Wonder what the thinking was with including Vernon Philander? Would have been better off including that off-spinner Tshabalala.

  • dave.cohen2 - 2011-10-22 15:03

    Philander??? What a waste of time and space. We must be scraping the bottom of the barrel when we have to opt for a cricketer as poor as him!!! But then I might have guessed: Which franchise does he play for? When in doubt pick a Cobra.

  • david.sportsman - 2011-10-23 11:02

    Great group of players...Well done selectors!

  • Anthony - 2011-10-25 07:53

    Hi, @wesselsvv The big question is will Rudolph play ahead of Prince I don't think so the quote system will come into play. Why have they chosen Philander he cannot field and there are better bowlers out there.

      granville.paulse - 2011-10-25 09:06

      No Anthony.Statistics will come into play. If you look purely at batting averages in tests, Prince is streets ahead of Rudolph. And the Proteas have always carried one poor fielder...... Pat Symcox, Paul Harris etc. Look at Philander's bowling figures for the last 3 seasons. He deserves a look in. I doubt he'll get any game time unless Lopsy falls over.

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