Imran Tahir prepares to bowl for South Africa. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Imran Tahir will be rested as the Proteas will explore their spin-bowling options with an eye on the World Cup in the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka next month. The South Africans will arrive in Sri Lanka on July 4 for two Tests, five ODIs and a lone T20 international.

In announcing that Tahir will be the first-choice spinner for the 2019 World Cup in England, Proteas selection convenor Linda Zondi said on Monday that they wanted to take a closer look at Test spinner Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi. “As far as the Proteas squad is concerned, we have taken the strategic decision to rest Imran Tahir so that we can get a clearer picture as to who our best second spinner is to back him up at the World Cup,” Zondi said.

“Imran will be our first-choice spinner at the World Cup, but if we play him against Sri Lanka, it is unlikely that we will be able to play both Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj. By taking this route, we will be able to play the two of them together. Tabraiz has been the outstanding bowler in franchise white-ball cricket this past season. Keshav has been outstanding for us in red-ball cricket, and we need to give him the opportunity to show us what he can do at international level in the ODI format.”

The two uncapped players in the squad are Lions opener Reeza Hendricks and Titans paceman Junior Dala, who have both played in T20 internationals. All-rounder Chris Morris was not considered due to injury.

“Both series are extremely important parts of Vision 2019 as we plan for next year’s ICC World Cup in England and Wales,” Zondi said. “We will be facing extremely tough competition in the tri-series in India with both our opponents set to include quite a lot of seasoned international players. This series will be ideal to broaden our talent pool.”

South Africa A squads for a limited-overs tri-series against India A and Australia A, as well as two four-day matches against India A during July and August in India.

Proteas ODI Squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi.

SA A limited-overs squad: Khaya Zondo (captain), Temba Bavuma, Farhaan Behardien, Gihahn Cloete, Theunis de Bruyn, Robbie Frylinck, Beuran Hendricks, Sisanda Magala, Pieter Malan, Senuran Muthusamy, Dane Paterson, Rudi Second, Dwaine Pretorius, Tabraiz Shamsi, Malusi Siboto.

SA A four-day squad: Khaya Zondo, Sarel Erwee, Zubayr Hamza, Beuran Hendricks, Pieter Malan, Senuran Muthusamy, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Anrich Nortjé, Duanne Olivier, Dane Piedt, Dwaine Pretorius, Rudi Second, Rassie van der Dussen, Malusi Siboto, Shaun von Berg.

Proteas Tour Schedule:

July 4: SA arrive in Sri Lanka

July 7-8: Two-day practice match, P Sara Stadium, Colombo

July 12-16: 1st Test match, Galle

July 20-24: 2nd Test match, Colombo

July 26: One-day warm-up match

July 29: 1st ODI, Dambulla (Day match)

August 1: 2nd ODI, Dambulla (D/N)

August 5: 3rd ODI, Kandy (day match)

August 8: 4th ODI, Kandy (D/N)

August 12: 5th ODI, Colombo (D/N)

August 14: T20 International, Colombo (D/N)


IOL Sport

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