Cape Town - Dale Steyn makes his long-awaited return to the Proteas Test squad for the two-match series to be played against Sri Lanka next month.
The 15-player squad also sees the return of Titans wrist spinner, Tabraiz Shamsi, whose only previous Test was the pink ball match against Australia at the Adelaide Oval in 2016, and the first-time inclusion of the uncapped Titans leg-spinner, Shaun von Berg.
“It is very welcome news to have Dale back in our pack of world-class seamers,” commented Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Selection Panel (NSC) convener Linda Zondi, “particularly in view of the retirement of Morne Morkel.
“Kagiso Rabada has also made a complete recovery from the injury concerns he had at the end of the Australia Test Series.
“A key factor in our selection process was to cover all our bases and all possible conditions that we may encounter in Sri Lanka. The two additional spinners to back up Keshav Maharaj have both had excellent records in recent times in our domestic cricket. Von Berg also gives us additional batting strength in the lower order.
“Heinrich Klaasen is the other uncapped player although he has been part of our squad for some time. He provides wicketkeeping cover for Quinton de Kock and is also a contender for a specialist batting position.”
No fewer than 10 of the squad hail from the Titans with die-hard cricket fans no doubt drawing parallels to the Transvaal 'Mean Machine' of the 1980s.
Proteas Test squad:
Faf du Plessis (Titans, captain), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Temba Bavuma (Cape Cobras), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (Titans), Dean Elgar (Titans), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Lungisani Ngidi (Titans), Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras), Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Dale Steyn (Titans), Shaun von Berg (Titans)
PROTEAS TOUR TO SRI LANKA:
July 4: SA arrive in Sri Lanka
July 7-8: Two-day practice match, P Sara Stadium, Colombo
July 12-16: 1st Test match, Galle
July 20-24: 2nd Test match, Colombo
July 26: One-day warm-up match
July 29: 1st ODI, Dambulla (Day match)
August 1: 2nd ODI, Dambulla (D/N)
August 5: 3rd ODI, Kandy (day match)
August 8: 4th ODI, Kandy (D/N)
August 12: 5th ODI, Colombo (D/N)
August 14: T20 International, Colombo (D/N)