Proteas start new Test era with two debutants in Tony de Zorzi and Gerald Coetzee

Tony de Zorzi will make his Proteas debut. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Tony de Zorzi will make his Proteas debut. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Feb 28, 2023


Centurion - The Proteas Test team begin a new era under captain Temba Bavuma and coach Shukri Conrad with two debutants in the first Test against West Indies at Centurion on Tuesday.

Western Province top-order batter Tony de Zorzi has been rewarded for a prolific four-day campaign and will slot in at No 3 in the batting order, while Free State speedster Gerald Coetzee will have his first crack with the ball.

Bavuma has, of course, replaced Dean Elgar as the leader of the team, and opted to bat after winning the toss.

Conrad has also taken over from Mark Boucher on a permanent basis. Malibongwe Maketa was the interim coach in the recent series against Australia.

Conrad, who is also now solely responsible for the selection of the starting XI after former convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang was jettisoned too, has overhauled the team that lost 2-0 Down Under.

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Aiden Markram is back in the starting XI to open the innings with Elgar, with De Zorzi coming in at first drop.

Keegan Petersen also returns to the Proteas Test XI after missing the series in Australia through injury. He will slot in at No 5 instead of his regular No 3.

North West all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy has also been recalled to the Test XI for the first time since 2019 at the expense of Keshav Maharaj, while Heinrich Klaasen takes over the duty behind the stumps.

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Proteas Team:

Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma (captain), Keegan Petersen, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Senuran Muthusamy, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Gerald Coetzee.