Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
South Africa have selected uncapped all-rounder Wiaan Mulder for the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which begins on February 13 in Durban.
Mulder has represented South Africa in eight ODIs to date, but has yet to feature in the longest format.
He was included in South Africa’s squad for the Test series against Australia last year, but the 20-year-old didn’t get the opportunity to make his debut.
However, during the ODI series against Zimbabwe last October, he injured his Achilles tendon and had to be sidelined.
“Wiaan has been part of our strategic thinking in developing a batting all-rounder for the Test squad for some time,” Cricket South Africa selection convener Linda Zondi was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “His injury in the white-ball series against Zimbabwe last year came at an unfortunate time and we are gradually working him back into the Proteas set-up.”
Mulder made his comeback from the injury in the 4-day Franchise Series, which is South Africa’s first-class competition.
He played in three games for the Lions and took 10 wickets, while also scoring a career-best 146 against the Knights in Bloemfontein.
Mulder’s inclusion in the Test side is likely due to the fact that Cricket South Africa don’t want seamer Lungi Ngidi to rush back from the knee injury he suffered during South Africa’s limited overs tour of Australia in November last year.
“We never want to rush players back from injury because that can be counter-productive, but he has now had a couple of good weeks of action in the 4-Day Domestic Series,” Zondi said. “For the same reason we are not going to rush Lungi Ngidi back into international action until he has had the time to gain full match fitness.
“After the convincing victory against Pakistan the selectors are looking to exercise consistency in the squad and at the same time to strengthen it through the inclusion of Mulder.”
South Africa’s Test squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn