Cape Town - Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson insists that middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma is still part of the Proteas' one-day plans despite not being picked for the Zimbabwe series.
Gibson was speaking ahead of the first of three ODIs against their neighbouring country, which gets underway on Sunday.
Bavuma, who helped Gauteng seal the Africa T20 Cup title on Monday, was omitted from Gibson's squads in the short limited-over series.
The 28-year-old has only managed to play two ODIs for the Proteas thus far - although he has been a regularly in red-ball cricket with 31 Tests to his name.
In his two ODIs, Bavuma became one of three Protea batsman to score a century on debut when he scored 117 against Ireland in 2016 and made 48 against Bangladesh in 2017.
Despite an impressing start, he has not featured in another ODI and with the World Cup in sight, some would've suspected that the Proteas might give Bavuma a go against the minnows this month.
"Temba is still part of the conversation, but you could only pick 14 players and unfortunately this time he misses out," Gibson told the media on Wednesday.
"That doesn't mean that it's the end of him going forward, it gives more opportunities for players like Temba to come in. We've had a look at Temba and have seen him and this now gives us the opportunity to see somebody else."
Gibson stated that they wanted to give other batsmen the opportunity to prove themselves in this series.
"We've wanted to see (Heinrich) Klaasen and Christiaan Jonker has done well in the T20 and his numbers look good in the franchise system. What we set out to do from the outset is to have two players for every position," said Gibson.
"We know what David (Miller) can do. He's not had a lot of runs recently, but this is a chance to see Christiaan in that position so we can then assess both of them and see which one we can take forward."
The Proteas take on Zimbabwe in the first ODI on Sunday in Kimberley (10:00).
Proteas ODI squad:
Dean Elgar (Titans), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras, captain), Reeza Hendricks (Highveld Lions), Imran Tahir (Dolphins), Christiaan Jonker (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Wiaan Mulder (Highveld Lions), Lungisani Ngidi (Titans), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Dale Steyn (Titans), Khaya Zondo (Dolphins)
Zimbabwe tour to South Africa:
September 30: 10:00, 1st ODI, Diamond Oval, Kimberley (Day)
October 3: 13:00, 2nd ODI, Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein (D/N)
October 6: 13:00, 3rd ODI, Boland Park, Paarl (D/N)
October 9: 18:00, 1st T20 International, Buffalo Park, East London (D/N)
October 12: 18:00, 2nd T20 International, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom (D/N)
October 14: 14:30, 3rd T20 International, Willowmoore Park, Benoni (Day)