Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa all-rounder JP Duminy will assume the role of captain for the upcoming three-match Twenty20 series against India.
Duminy will take over the leadership role as regular skipper Faf du Plessis was ruled out for the remainder of the limited overs series after fracturing his right index finger.
Meanwhile, the uncapped trio of Heinrich Klaasen, Christiaan Jonker and Junior Dala have been included in the 14-man squad based on their performances in the recent Ram Slam T20 Challenge.
Klaasen, a wicketkeeper-batsman, made his international debut in the ongoing ODI series against India after Quinton de Kock was ruled out of the series with a wrist injury.
Klaasen starred in the fourth ODI in Johannesburg as his unbeaten 43 off 27 balls led the Proteas to a five-wicket win via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method and reduced the series deficit to 3-1.
In the Ram Slam tournament, the 26-year-old, who plays for the Titans, scored 50 runs in four games at an average of 25.
In regards to Jonker, he accumulated 290 runs in 10 matches for the Warriors, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 29.
As for Dala, who is a pace bowler, he claimed nine wickets in 11 matches for the Titans at an average of 21.33.
“Christiaan Jonker has been one of the most explosive finishers in domestic T20 cricket in recent seasons and his selection, together with that of Junior Dala, gives players who have performed well at franchise level the opportunity to show that they can compete at the highest level,” South Africa’s convener of selectors Linda Zondi said in a statement released by Cricket South Africa. “Heinrich Klaasen’s recent performance speaks for itself.
Reeza Hendricks, who has featured in nine Twenty20 Internationals to date, also made the cut as he was the highest-scorer in the Ram Slam T20 Challenge.
Playing for the Lions, the 28-year-old scored 361 runs in eight games, which included a century and two fifties, at an average of 120.33.
“Reeza Hendricks gets another opportunity for the same reason, having been the highest runs scorer in this season’s RAM SLAM Challenge,” Zondi said.
Meanwhile, batsmen Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram, who is standing in as captain in the ongoing ODI series, will be rested for the Twenty20 series. Spinner Imran Tahir has also been rested.
“With the Sunfoil Test Series against Australia starting only 5 days after the completion of the T20 Series it is necessary for us to rest some of the players who have featured in virtually all our international matches so far this summer,” Zondi said. “These include Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram among the batsmen as well as most of our frontline fast bowlers. AB de Villiers has missed quite a lot of cricket this summer so he will play in the T20 Series.
“We have also decided to give Imran Tahir a break. He remains our first-choice spin bowler in both white ball formats. But we need to give more game time to Tabraiz Shamsi and Aaron Phangiso. The next ICC World Twenty20 is not all that far away in 2020 so it is important that we develop and examine our resources for that tournament.”
The three-match Twenty20 series gets underway on February 18 in Johannesburg.
South Africa’s T20 squad: JP Duminy (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, AB de Villiers, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts