Lungi Ndidi has been recalled to the South Africa squad for the first three ODIs against Sri Lanka and has been named alongside his fellow fast bowler, the uncapped Anrich Nortje, who is in line to make his Proteas debut.
The 21-year-old all-rounder Wiaan Mulder, fresh from a Test debut in the second Test against Sri Lanka, has been retained in a strong-looking squad.
After the shock of back-to-back Test defeats, Faf du Plessis’ team will be desperate to bring about an upturn in their form, and with fewer than 100 days to go before the ICC World Cup 2019, it is evident that squad places are still up for grabs.
Despite the omission of Hashim Amla from the first three matches, as well as a handful of players who featured in the previous ODI rubber against Pakistan, CSA National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi was keen to stress that none of these players should consider themselves dropped.
“Those players who were in the squad against Pakistan but who have been left out this time have not been dropped. We need to use the first part of this series to examine all the options that are available to us,” said Zondi. “We know, for example, what Hashim Amla has to offer us and he remains a senior member of our squad.”
The return of Ngidi is timely. A muscular quick bowler whose nascent international career has already delivered excellent returns – with 26 wickets from 13 ODIs, and 15 Test scalps from his four matches to date – his domestic form has propelled him back into the reckoning. After a knee injury kept him out of the Pakistan series, he is now fully fit.
“It is great to have Lungi back in the squad after a lengthy period on the sidelines caused by the injury he suffered in the white ball series in Australia last year,” said Zondi. “His recent form for the Titans has been most impressive and he is clearly match fit for international cricket again.”
After a productive domestic campaign for Warriers, including 20 wickets in his previous four first-class matches, Nortje has been given a first senior call-up. “We want to see what he can offer the Proteas,” said Zondi. “Outright pace is not something that you can coach, and he looks another exciting addition to our pace arsenal.”
Proteas ODI squad (for first three games against Sri Lanka): Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, and Rassie van der Dussen.
- 3 March – 1st ODI, Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg (Day)
- 6 March – 2nd ODI, SuperSport Park, Centurion (D/N)
- 10 March – 3rd ODI, Kingsmead, Durban (Day)
- 13 March – 4th ODI, St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth (D/N)
- 16 March – 5th ODI, Newlands, Cape Town (D/N)