Cricket South Africa on Thursday named two new caps in the 14-man Proteas’ Standard Bank squad for the five-match MTN ODI series against India. Jacques Kallis was not considered because of injury.
The newcomers are Francois (Faf) du Plessis from the Nashua Titans and Mohammed Imran Tahir from the Nashua Dolphins.
The 26-year-old Du Plessis had a huge impact on the Titans’ MTN40 campaign this season making 567 runs including 3 centuries. He had an average of 81 and a strike rate of 98. His aggregate was more than 100 runs better than the next best in the competition.
In addition to his core batting skills he is a highly-rated fielder and a part-time leg-break bowler.
Together with AB de Villiers and JP Duminy he filled the key positions of 3, 4 and 5 in the South African under-19 side that went unbeaten through England in 2003. He also gained county championship experience with Lancashire for several seasons.
Tahir, a 31-year-old leg-spinner, who was born in Pakistan, recently completed his eligibility qualifications for South Africa. He took 15 wickets in the MTN40 competition at an average of 17 and also picked up a five-wicket haul in the final of England’s equivalent competition for Warwickshire.
“The absence of Jacques Kallis leaves a big gap in the side but at the same time it must be seen as an opportunity for somebody else,” commented selection convener Andrew Hudson.
“Faf du Plessis has grabbed his opportunity this season as Colin Ingram did the previous season. Both he and Tahir had outstanding campaigns in the MTN40 and we are looking forward to see how they take their games up to the next level.”
Du Plessis and Tahir will be the 101st and 102nd player to represent the Proteas in the ODI format.
Proteas’ Standard Bank ODI squad:
Graeme Smith (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras, capt), Hashim Amla (Nashua Dolphins), Johan Botha (Chevrolet Warriors), AB de Villiers (Nashua Titans), JP Duminy (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Nashua Titans), Colin Ingram (Chevrolet Warriors), David Miller (Nashua Dolphins), Morne Morkel (Nashua Titans), Wayne Parnell (Chevrolet Warriors), Robin Peterson (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Imran Tahir (Nashua Dolphins), Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Chevrolet Warriors).
Wednesday, 12 January: Sahara Stadium Kingsmead
Saturday, 15 January: Bidvest Wanderers Stadium
Tuesday, 18 January: Sahara Park Newlands
Friday, 21 January: Axxess DSL St. George’s
Sunday, 23 January: SuperSport Park