Image courtesy of: Zimbio
South Africa spinner Imran Tahir has been rested for the upcoming five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, which begins on July 29 in Dambulla.
Tahir has long been South Africa’s go-to spinner in limited overs cricket, but the national selectors opted to leave him out in order to identify who will be the team’s second-choice spinner at the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
With Tahir out, the Proteas will be able to select both Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi during the ODI series against Sri Lanka, and pinpoint who will be the back-up spinner to Tahir, according to convener of selectors Linda Zondi.
“As far as the Proteas squad is concerned we have taken the strategic decision to rest Imran Tahir so that we can get a clearer picture as to who our best second spinner is to back him up at the World Cup,” Zondi was quoted as saying by Sport24. “Imran will be our first-choice spinner at the World Cup but, if we play him against Sri Lanka, it is unlikely that we will be able to play both Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj.
“By taking this route, we will be able to play the two of them together. Tabraiz has been the outstanding bowler in franchise white ball cricket this past season. Keshav has been outstanding for us in red ball cricket and we need to give him the opportunity to show us what he can do at international level in the ODI format.”
Meanwhile, the uncapped duo of Reeza Hendricks and Junior Dala have been included in the squad.
Hendricks has represented South Africa in 12 Twenty20 Internationals thus far, while Dala has featured in three matches in the shortest format.
All-rounder Chris Morris was not considered for selection due to an injury.
South Africa’s ODI Squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungisani Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi