Du Plessis captain for T20s, Tahir left out of Tests

Friday, 14 December 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Faf du Plessis will lead South Africa in the three Twenty20 internationals against New Zealand in December. A.B. de Villiers, South Africa’s regular limited-overs Captain, is in the squad but won’t be Captain because the selectors want to manage his workload.

South Africa’s selectors also named a 13-man squad for the two Tests against New Zealand in January. The squad comprises the 11 that won the Perth Test against Australia as well as Rory Kleinveldt and Jacques Rudolph, which means there was no place for legspinner Imran Tahir, who had a poor Test in Adelaide.

There are also four uncapped players in South Africa’s T20 squad: Batsman Henry Davids, wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso and allrounder Chris Morris. Morris had played the unofficial T20 series against Zimbabwe earlier this year.

“A.B. de Villiers remains our first-choice Captain in this T20 format,” CSA selection convener Andrew Hudson said, “but A.B. is one of the players we need to rotate in the interest of his workload across all three formats and we want to have one Captain for the entire series.

“We could not consider J.P. Duminy, Colin Ingram and Albie Morkel because of injury, while we decided to rest Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla. We also did not consider Johan Botha for selection. This squad is a reflection of the tremendous depth that is developing in our franchise cricket. Even without some of our senior Proteas and the inclusion of a number of new caps there is still a good deal of experience in this squad.”

Hudson was hopeful that Kallis, who sustained a hamstring injury in Australia and played in Perth as a batsman, would be able to fulfill the allrounder’s role in the Tests against New Zealand.

“I don’t think anybody will be surprised that we have kept faith with the 11 players who did duty in the winning Test match against Australia at Perth as well as Rory Kleinveldt and Jacques Rudolph, who played two Test matches each,” Hudson said. “There is every indication at this stage that Jacques Kallis will be fully fit to fill his allrounders role which will get us back to the balance that has served us so well this year with a combination of seven specialist batsmen and five specialist bowlers.

“AB de Villiers has kept wicket exceptionally well since taking the gloves from Mark Boucher and having two quality allrounders among our top five batsmen has added a great deal to the side. Thami Tsolekile remains our back-up wicketkeeper should the need arise.

“It was a tough call to leave out Imran Tahir but we have to acknowledge that Robin Peterson put up an outstanding performance in Perth where he made a significant contribution to our victory. Imran remains very much in our plans going forward.”

South Africa play three T20s against New Zealand in Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth on 21, 23 and 26 December. The first Test begins at Newlands on 2 January and the second in Port Elizabeth on 11 January.

Twenty20 squad:

Faf du Plessis (Capt), Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Test squad:

Graeme Smith (Capt), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn.