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08-Oct-2010 10:20:00 GMT
South Africa v Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, Bloemfontein

SA vs Zim 1st T20 - A New Start for Botha and South Africa

Bloemfontein: It will be something of a new era on many fronts for the Proteas Standard Bank squad when they play Zimbabwe in the first of two Pro20 International contests at Bloemfontein's OUTsurance Oval on Friday evening at 6pm (when 1st T20 start).

Johan Botha has considerable international captaincy experience but this will be the first game since he was awarded the Pro20 captaincy on a full-time basis.

The national selectors have also continued on their youthful policy for this format of the game which started with David Miller's call-up for the limited overs section of the West Indies tour earlier this year.

The Chevrolet Warriors duo of Colin Ingram and Juan Theron are in line for their international debuts in at least one of the games while there are recalls for wicket keeper Heino Kuhn behind the stumps and for spin bowling all-rounder Robbie Peterson.

The very fact that Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, Albie Morkel and AB de Villiers are missing through injury automatically gives the squad a different look as well.

There will also be a lot of interest in the return of Wayne Parnell after a long-term injury.

Botha said he was not expecting an easy ride from Zimbabwe. "In this format of the game it only needs one batsman to make 80 off 50 balls or a bowler to pick up a few quick wickets to put you under pressure," he commented.

We are in the fortunate position that several of our players have done well for South Africa A in the off-season or in the Champions League so it will not be like a start to the season. We already have good match practice under our belt.

Botha said he wanted his players "to be aggressive within reason. I expect the youngsters will give it a full go," he added.

With the exception of Albie Morkel who was replaced earlier in the week by Ryan McLaren, Botha said he had a full squad of 13 players available for selection.

South Africa may have followed their lethargic showing in the World Twenty20 with a pair of wins over West Indies but suspicion remains they are still groping for a combination capable of challenging the best teams in this format. They have a new-look team for this series with Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis resting and AB de Villiers out with injury.

Grant Flower's presence in the top order dominates the team news while Ed Rainsford should get his chance after a strong showing in the ODI series against Ireland where he picked up 10 wickets in the three matches.

Team from

South Africa:
Johan Botha (capt), Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Colin Ingram, Jacques Kallis, Charl Langeveldt, David Miller, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Loots Bosman, Heino Kuhn (wk), Juan Theron

Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (capt), Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibhabha, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Shingirai Masakadza, Ian Nicolson, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Charles Coventry, Ed Rainsford, Chris Mpofu, Keith Dabengwa, Grant Flower, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine

Pitch and conditions
There has not been an international match played at Bloemfontein since South Africa eased to an innings victory over Bangladesh almost two years ago. Back then there were runs aplenty for the home side before Bangladesh's batsmen struggled. Twenty20 conditions should be benign and with the forecast set fair runs should be on offer.

Stats and trivia

  • 39 may not seem the normal age for newcomers but Grant Flower will make his Twenty20 International debut at Bloemfontein.
  • Flower can at least claim to have some good form behind him. In his last international game, six years ago, he took 3 for 36 before top-scoring with 59 to help Zimbabwe edge to victory over Bangladesh.
  • Since clubbing 94 from 45 balls against England at Centurion Loots Bosman has made 8, 0, 7, and 0 in Twenty20 Internationals.

    Match facts
Friday, October 8, 2010 (day/night)
Start time 18:00 local (1600 GMT)

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