South Africa A one-day captain Khaya Zondo is looking forward to the high-quality cricket that the next few weeks will hold as they prepare to take on India A in their Tri-Angular Series opener at Groenkloof in Pretoria on Wednesday.
The hosts will also play Afghanistan A in the tournament, which runs from July 26 to August 8, with the top two sides qualifying for the final at the Assupol Tuks Oval.
The South Africans, who recently returned from a disappointing tour of England, will follow those matches by taking on India in two four-day matches.
“It’s exciting to get together once again,” Zondo said. “It was good for us to go away to England but it’s even better for us to be back in our own conditions.
“We’ve had two warm-up games so far and the wickets have been very good at the High Performance Centre, hopefully it will be the same for the series as well.
“We’ve got a lot of the guys that were on the last tour, a few new faces, but the core of the squad is the same. It just gets better and better in terms of the camp.”
The home team is a strong one and boasts internationals such as Farhaan Behardien, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Mangaliso Mosehle, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dwaine Pretorius and Tabraiz Shamsi.
The Indians too have named a squad packed with players that have played at the highest level. They are captained by Manish Pandey, with the likes of Karun Nair and Jayant Yadav also selected.
Zondo says they will be going out to win the competition.
“We have the same objectives as always, we want to win the series, see guys grow and see guys learn as players, so that they can prepare to be international cricketers one day,” he said.
The Dolphins skipper also spoke about the experience of playing for South Africa at a High Performance level.
“I’ve been involved in three series now and it helps you grow,” he added. “You get exposed to different conditions and it’s an opportunity you wouldn’t get if you were just playing domestic cricket.
“So it helps you as a cricketer and it also shows people involved in cricket your abilities and the way you deal with different types of pressures because this is definitely higher than domestic level.”
South Africa A one-day squad one-day squad (to play in triangular against Afghanistan A and India A): Khaya Zondo (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Mangaliso Mosehle, Wiaan Mulder, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jason Smith, Jon-Jon Smuts