JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa has the 16-man squad for the three-match Test series against Australia next month.
Fast bowler Gerald Coetzee has earned his maiden call up to the Test team, while batter Theunis de Bruyn and wicketkeeper-batter Heinrich Klaasen return to the fold after three-year absences.
The most notable omission from the squad is that of Aiden Markram. The top-order batter has lost his place in the side after a poor run of form, which saw him score just 36 runs in his three innings in the Proteas’ recent tour of England in July and August.
National convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang has full confidence in the squad he has chosen and hopes they will be as successful as previous Proteas sides that won Test series Down Under.
“We are pleased with the group of players that have been assembled for this tour. I think the selectors now have a core group of Proteas that has been built and it is just about building on what we have,” said Mpitsang.
Red-ball vice-captain Temba Bavuma makes a welcome return after missing the tour to the United Kingdom due to an elbow injury, while Rassie van der Dussen has recovered from a finger injury that forced him to miss the T20 World Cup.
The Proteas’ top order will be without Keegan Petersen – a solid performer for the team – after he was injured during the CSA T20 Challenge and newly capped Ryan Rickleton will not be part of the touring group either after he injured his ankle. The pair have been replaced by de Bruyn and Klaasen who last played in the Test format in 2019.
Free State seamer Coetzee is the only newcomer to the team. The 22-year-old has garnered 40 wickets at an average of 28.82 and a career-best 4/47 in his 13 first-class matches thus far.
The squad will depart for Australia on 1 December and as part of their preparation, Dean Elgar’s side will play an unofficial four-day match against Cricket Australia XI from 9 to 12 December at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane.
Proteas Test squad against Australia
Dean Elgar (captain), Temba Bavuma, Gerald Coetzee, Theunis de Bruyn, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne (wicketkeeper), Khaya Zondo.
South Africa Test tour to Australia itinerary
Four-day Tour Match
09 – 12 December
Cricket Australia XI vs South Africa – The Allan Border Field, Brisbane
17 – 21 December
Australia vs South Africa – The Gabba, Brisbane
26 – 30 December
Australia vs South Africa – MCG, Melbourne
04 – 08 January
Australia vs South Africa – SCG, Sydney