South Africa on Tuesday named three newcomers in their 14-man squad for the T20 international series against India. Batsman Christiaan Jonker, fast bowler Junior Dala and wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen are new caps in the Proteas squad which will be captained by JP Duminy in the continued absence through injury of Faf du Plessis.
Klaasen is part of the ODI team as well and played a leading role in South Africa’s comeback win in the 4th ODI at Johannesburg, which helped them stay alive in the series against India. Leg spinner Imran Tahir, who had claimed to have been racially abused in the Johannesburg ODI, has been rested for the series, along with several other regulars, as the Proteas prepare to take on Australia in March.
“With the Sunfoil Test Series against Australia starting only 5 days after the completion of the T20 Series it is necessary for us to rest some of the players who have featured in virtually all our international matches so far this summer,” commented CSA National Selection Panel Convener Linda Zondi.
“These include Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram among the batsmen as well as most of our frontline fast bowlers. AB de Villiers has missed quite a lot of cricket this summer so he will play in the T20 Series.
“We have also decided to give Imran Tahir a break. He remains our first-choice spin bowler in both white ball formats,” explained Zondi, “but we need to give more game time to Tabraiz Shamsi and Aaron Phangiso. The next ICC World Twenty20 is not all that far away in 2020 so it is important that we develop and examine our resources for that tournament.
“Christiaan Jonker has been one of the most explosive finishers in domestic T20 cricket in recent seasons and his selection, together with that of Junior Dala, gives players who have performed well at franchise level the opportunity to show that they can compete at the highest level. Heinrich Klaasen’s recent performance speaks for itself.
“Reeza Hendricks gets another opportunity for the same reason, having been the highest runs scorer in this season’s RAM SLAM Challenge.”
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 13, 2018
Standard Bank Proteas T20 squad: JP Duminy (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, AB de Villiers, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts