Six uncapped players in South Africa Test squad to face England
The Proteas are in the midst of a shake-up on and off the field, with former captain Graeme Smith taking over as interim director of cricket and Mark Boucher just appointed as head coach.
The selectors have now given them a handful of fresh options to consider for the Boxing Day Test at Centurion and the New Year Test in Cape Town.
Fast bowlers Dane Paterson and Beuran Hendricks bolster an attack missing the injured Lungi Ngidi, while Pieter Malan and Rassie Van Der Dussen are the new batsmen. All-rounder Dwaine Pretorius and wicketkeeper Rudi Second complete the group.
The core of the squad that was defeated in India last time out remains, with Faf Du Plessis, Temba Bavuma, Quinton De Kock, Dean Elgar, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada all called up again, but fringe performers such as Dane Piedt, Theunis De Bruyn, Heinrich Klaasen and George Linde have been dropped.
Batsman Aiden Markram is included after being freed to play domestic cricket for Titans this week following injury.
CSA’s independent selector Linda Zondi said: “The high number of uncapped players coming into the squad is a reflection of our policy to acknowledge players who do well at franchise level and have put their hands up for selection.
“Van Der Dussen, who is third on the current four-day batting averages, and Pretorius, who has established himself as the leading all-rounder, are clear examples of this.
“Following the same trend Paterson has been the second leading wicket-taker in four-day cricket this season, including a seven-wicket haul in an innings, and we want to go into the Test series will a full arsenal of fast bowlers who have always provided one of our traditional strengths.
“Beuran Hendricks is also part of this strategy and adds variety to the attack as a left-arm swing bowler.
“Malan has been one of the most consistent runs scorers in franchise cricket for many seasons now and, as a specialist opening batsman, he provides cover for Markram, while Second provides cover in the wicketkeeping department and is a top-order batsman in his own right.
South Africa squad for first and second Tests v England: F Du Plessis (capt), T Bavuma, Q De Kock (wkt), D Elgar, B Hendricks, K Maharaj, P Malan, A Markram, Z Hamza, A Nortje, D Paterson, A Phehlukwayo, V Philander, D Pretorius, K Rabada, R Second (wkt), R Van Der Dussen.
Danni Wyatt stars on 150th T20I appearance as England begin India tour with win
Sophie Ecclestone returned figures of three for 15 on her comeback appearance after four months out with a shoulder injury.
Harry Brook blocks himself from ‘negativity’ by withdrawing from social media
Brook has left the running of his X and Instagram accounts to someone else.
Sophie Ecclestone set for England return in T20 opener in India – Heather Knight
The world’s top-ranked limited-overs bowler underwent surgery after dislocating her shoulder in August.
Rehan Ahmed rejects Sir Alastair Cook’s criticism of Jos Buttler’s captaincy
Several of Buttler’s decisions were scrutinised during a calamitous World Cup defence.
Maia Bouchier and Danielle Gibson handed their first central contracts by ECB
England Women have once again issued 18 full-time deals.
Jos Buttler admits concerns over poor run of form after West Indies beat England
Buttler was out for three off 13 balls against the West Indies in Antigua.
England suffer four-wicket defeat to West Indies in opening ODI in Antigua
Jos Buttler made his fifth single-figure score in eight ODIs, dismissed for three off 13 balls.
Harry Brook helps England set West Indies 326 as Jos Buttler struggles continue
Brook top-scored with 71 while captain Buttler fell for three in the opening ODI in in Antigua.
Mitchell Johnson: Does David Warner deserve to sign off from Tests on own terms?
Warner expressed his wish to retire from Tests at the end of their series against Pakistan in Sydney next month.