Cricket South Africa have called up six uncapped players to the national squad for the first two Tests against England, starting boxing day.
The unprecedented shake-up news comes 10 days prior to the start of a ‘festive’ South African summer where touring England will play a four-Test series followed by three ODIs between 26th December, 2019 and 07th February, 2020.
The six rookie call-ups feature some interesting names: the Cape Cobras duo of fast bowler Dane Paterson and opening batsman Pieter Malan, the Highveld Lions trio of batsman Rassie van der Dussen, all-rounder Dwaine Pretorious and fast-bowler Beuran Hendricks and Warriors wicket-keeper/batsman Rudi Second – to earn their international Test caps.
Out of the group, Rudi Second was one to have been selected previously for the tour to India, but had to withdraw owing to an injury. Pieter Malan is the only one to have neither played in the limited-over format nor been named in a Test squad. The remaining four have all represented South Africa in white ball internationals.
Aiden Markram, who was ruled out of the Ranchi test against India, has reportedly been recovering well from his self-inflicted wrist injury. However, star quick Lungi Ngidi has had no mentions with regards to the upcoming home series.
Talking about the unforeseen decision to call up as many uncapped players, Cricket South Africa Independent Selector Linda Zondi was quoted as saying “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.”
The Boxing Day Test will be played at the SuperSport Park, Centurion and the subsequent Test at Newlands from 3rd January, 2020.
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