CAPE TOWN – Dean Elgar will get a chance to make a bid for next year’s Proteas World Cup squad in the upcoming ODI series against Zimbabwe after captain Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla were withdrawn on Tuesday.
Du Plessis has been battling with a shoulder injury that he sustained in an ODI against Sri Lanka, and while he was initially named in the squad to face Zimbabwe, he has now been given more time to get better.
Proteas team manager and doctor Mohammed Moosajee said Du Plessis “has not made a satisfactory recovery” for the three-match ODI series, but he is hopeful that the right-hander will be ready for the three T20 games.
Cricket South Africa said in a statement on Tuesday that left-handed batsman JP Duminy will take over the captaincy.
Duminy has had captaincy experience previously with the T20 side, and also in the Pakistan T20 league, while he was recently appointed as the limited-overs cricket skipper of the Cape Cobras.
Amla sustained a tear to a tendon in his left ‘pinky’ finger while fielding during the Caribbean Premier League, with Moosajee saying it would take up to three weeks to heal.
With regards to Elgar’s call-up, national selection convener Linda Zondi said that the left-hander has “always been on our radar”.
“We have said that the Zimbabwe series is an opportunity to further explore our ODI options.
“And the unfortunate injury to Hashim gives us an opportunity to see what Dean is capable of in the limited-overs format.
“He has always been on our radar, having put in consistent performances both in South Africa and the UK (where the World Cup will take place), and brings a wealth of valuable experience to the batting group in Hashim and Faf’s absence.”
Having the opportunity to wear the Green and Gold is a very Proud and extremely Honouring moment in a SA Cricketers’ life but to join the 50 Test Club is a very special moment for me. Very humbled by the support shown by friends, family and fans.
Cricket SA added that left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj has been released from the ODI squad, and will play for the Dolphins in their four-day clash against the Titans in Centurion on Wednesday.
That leaves Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi as the specialist tweakers in the group, while Duminy can also turn his arm over.
The first ODI against Zimbabwe takes place in Kimberley on Sunday (10am start).
Revised Proteas Squad
JP Duminy (captain), Dean Elgar, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Khaya Zondo.