Netherlands win toss and field in first ODI against Proteas but concern over new Covid-19 variant looms
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Johannesburg - The Netherlands won the toss and will field first in the opening One-Day International with South Africa in Centurion, but the fate of the remainder of the series may be in doubt after the announcement of a new, reportedly more potent Covid-19 variant.
It is understood that officials from the Dutch team will meet with CSA to gain clarity on whether the second and third matches in the series - scheduled for Centurion on Sunday and the Wanderers next Wednesday - will go ahead. The number of people testing positive Covid-19 has increased in recent weeks, with Gauteng in particular a concern.
On Thursday, scientists announced the presence of a new more potent variant of the virus.
Amidst that backdrop, the first ODI is going ahead, with Dutch hoping to take advantage of cool morning conditions on Friday, following heavy overnight rain in the Highveld.
The Proteas have a number of changes following the decision by the selectors to rest many of the biggest names after the T20 World Cup and with an eye on the upcoming series against India later this summer.
The side is led by Keshav Maharaj in Temba Bavuma’s absence, and for Friday’s opening match sees a return to international cricket for Wayne Parnell - who plays his first match in green and gold in four years - while Khaya Zondo, plays his sixth ODI, three years after playing his fifth.
Zubayr Hamza and Sisanda Magala will both make their debuts in the ODI side.
The Proteas side has just five bowlers in the starting lineup, including two spinners.
The Dutch have included four players with strong South African connections, including Roelof van der Merwe and Stefan Mayburgh, who learned their cricket at SuperSport Park.
South Africa: Janneman Malan, Reeza Hendricks, Zubayr Hamza, Kyle Verreynne, David Miller, Khaya Zondo, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Keshav Maharaj, Sisanda Magala, Tabraiz Shamsi
Netherlands: Max O’ Dowd, Stefan Myburgh, Scott Edwards, Colin Ackerman, Bas de Leede, Pieter Seelar (capt), Roelof van der Merwe, Timm van Gugten, Fred Klaassen,Vivian Kingma, Brandon Glover