CAPE TOWN – Beuran Hendricks might be the missing link in the Proteas ODI bowling attack, and he has been given a chance to prove his worth as a left-arm paceman in the last three matches against Pakistan.
Lions speedster Hendricks was called up to the South African team on Wednesday, and joins Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn, who were rested for the first two games in Port Elizabeth and Durban.
The trio replace Duanne Olivier, Dane Paterson and Heinrich Klaasen in the 13-man group.
The success of tall left-armer Shaheen Shah Afridi for the Pakistanis in Durban, where he ripped through the Proteas top-order, may have influenced the South African selectors to take a look at what Hendricks could offer in a World Cup year.
Afridi clean-bowled Hashim Amla with a superb in-swinger, where after he found the edges of Reeza Hendricks and Faf du Plessis to be caught behind.
The 28-year-old Hendricks has played in seven T20 Internationals, and claimed 2/21 in a victorious Mzansi Super League final for the Jozi Stars against the Cape Town Blitz in December.
He has also taken 32 wickets in the 4-Day Franchise Series for the Highveld Lions, which places him third on the leading wicket-takers list.
“We are very happy with the depth of our fast bowling resources, particularly if you consider that Lungi Ngidi is still on the road back from injury, and we also want to have a look at Anrich Nortje when he is fully recovered,” Proteas selection chief Linda Zondi said in a statement on Wednesday.
“At the same time, we want to explore all the options that are available to us, and Beuran will be able to offer variety to our attack.
“We are well aware of what Duanne, Dane and Heinrich have to offer, and in the case of Duanne, we are mindful of the amount of bowling he has done at the top level over the past month.
“We want to give him a break ahead of the Test Series against Sri Lanka.
“For the same reason, we will be looking to rest Kagiso Rabada for the entire T20 International Series.”
The Proteas won the second match by five wickets at Kingsmead on Tuesday to level the series at 1-1, with the next ODI taking place in Centurion on Friday (1pm start).
Proteas ODI Squad
Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen.
Friday, 25 January: Centurion (1pm), Sunday, 27 January: Johannesburg (10am), Wednesday 30 January: Cape Town (1pm).@ashfakmohamed