Johannesburg: Dale Steyn make his long-awaited return to the Standard Bank Proteas Test squad for the two-match series to be played against Sri Lanka next month.
The 15-player squad also sees the return of Multiply Titans wrist spinner, Tabraiz Shamsi, whose only previous Test was the pink ball match against Australia at the Adelaide Oval in 2016, and the first-time inclusion of the uncapped Multiply Titans leg-spinner, Shaun von Berg.
“It is very welcome news to have Dale back in our pack of world-class seamers,” commented Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Selection Panel (NSC) convener Linda Zondi, “particularly in view of the retirement of Morne Morkel.
Kagiso Rabada has also made a complete recovery from the injury concerns he had at the end of the Australia Test Series.
A key factor in our selection process was to cover all our bases and all possible conditions that we may encounter in Sri Lanka. The two additional spinners to back up Keshav Maharaj have both had excellent records in recent times in our domestic cricket. Von Berg also gives us additional batting strength in the lower order.
Standard Bank Proteas Test squad:
Faf du Plessis (Multiply Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (WSB Cape Cobras), Temba Bavuma (WSB Cape Cobras), Quinton de Kock (Multiply Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (Multiply Titans), Dean Elgar (Multiply Titans), Heinrich Klaasen (Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans), Lungisani Ngidi (Multiply Titans), Vernon Philander (WSB Cape Cobras), Kagiso Rabada (bizhub Highveld Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Multiply Titans), Dale Steyn (Multiply Titans), Shaun von Berg (Multiply Titans).
Heinrich Klaasen is the other uncapped player in the squad - he will continue to provide back-up to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, but will also be considered as a specialist batsman. Klaasen was a non-playing member of the squad that beat Australia 3-1 at home recently, and has risen up the batting stakes in the wake of AB de Villiers' international retirement.