Du Plessis to lead South African Twenty20 side


Faf du Plessis has played only four T20Is, but had impressed on Test debut against Australia last month. © Getty Images

Faf du Plessis will replace AB de Villiers as the captain of the South African Twenty20 side for the three matches against New Zealand starting from December 21.

Andrew Hudson, the convener of selectors, said de Villiers, the regular limited-overs captain, was unlikely to play in the three games. ”AB de Villiers remains our first-choice captain in this format, but AB is one of the players we need to rotate in the interest of his workload across all three formats and we want to have one captain for the entire series,” said Hudson.

Du Plessis, 28, has played only four T20Is, but had impressed on Test debut against Australia last month.

South Africa have named also named four new caps in the T20 squad – Quinton de Kock, Henry Davids, Chris Morris and Aaron Phangiso.

Chris Morris, the fast bowler, had impressed in the unofficial tri-series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh earlier this year. Henry  Davids’ fine performance for the Titans earned him a call-up to the international side.

“I believe we have chosen an extremely exciting squad of 15 players which will enable us both to rotate senior players and to provide opportunity to a new group of players,” said Hudson. “All the players have been showing excellent form of late either in the Champions League T20 or the Momentum One-Day Cup and it has been very encouraging to take note of this.”

JP Duminy, Colin Ingram and Albie Morkel have not been considered due to injury, while Hudson said that Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla would be rested.

Cricket South Africa also named a 13-man squad for the Test series against New Zealand that begins on January 2.

The selectors said that they had shown faith in the team that defeated Australia in Perth last month to win the three-match series 1-0.

“I don’t think anybody will be surprised that we have kept faith with the 11 players who did duty in the winning Test match against Australia at Perth, as well as Rory Kleinveldt and Jacques Rudolph, who played two Test matches each,” said Hudson.

Imran Tahir, the legspinner, has been dropped in favour of Robin Peterson.  Tahir was left out along with Thami Tsolekile, who had travelled to Australia as back-up wicketkeeper.

“It was a tough call to leave out Imran but we have to acknowledge that Robin Peterson put up an outstanding performance at Perth, where he made a significant contribution to our victory,” said Hudson. “Imran remains very much in our plans going forward. Thami Tsolekile remains our back-up wicketkeeper should the need arise.”

T20I squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Rory Kleinveldt, Richard Levi, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Test squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt, Jacques Rudolph.


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