Kiwis tour: young lion de Kock could get a Proteas spot

2012-12-12 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Young Highveld Lions wicketkeeper/batsman Quinton de Kock is likely to be called up by the Proteas for limited overs internationals against New Zealand.

The Kiwis start their South African tour with a T20 game against a SA Invitation XI in Pietermaritzburg on December 18, before facing the Proteas in three T20 clashes from December 21.

Cricket South Africa’s convener of selectors, Andrew Hudson confirmed that young players will be given opportunities during the New Zealand tour.

“The selection committee meets [today] and our aim is to announce the national teams [T20, ODIs and Tests] at a press conference [tomorrow],” said Hudson.

And De Kock, who turns 20 next week, looks likely to get his chance in place of the injured Jacques Kallis (hamstring), and could take some of the load off captain AB de Villiers who has also been keeping wicket.

De Kock impressed in the recent Champions League T20 tournament when he smashed 51 not out form 33 balls against a Mumbai Indians line-up consisting of bowlers of the calibre of Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh and Kieron Pollard.

He also faces a big test on Friday when his Lions side face a Cobras team consisting of Proteas quickie Dale Steyn in the One-day Cup final.

Meanwhile, either Roelof van der Merwe or Aaron Phangiso could be picked as spinner alongside Robin Peterson, while Hudson also didn’t rule out a return for Johan Botha, who is playing in Australia’s Big Bash League for the Adelaide Strikers.

Meanwhile, Proteas skipper Graeme Smith is expected to be fit for the New Zealand Test series after he sustained a bad blow to his elbow.

Smith was injured in the nets while practising for the Cape Cobras ahead of their One-day Cup semi- final against the Titans, which subsequently ruled him out of the Newlands clash played on Sunday.

The Cobras won the game by three wickets to advance to the final against the Highveld Lions in Johannesburg this Friday.

“Initially, we thought he would recover in time, but because he was in a lot of pain it wasn’t worth the risk, especially because he has to be ready to play Test cricket in three weeks’ time,” Proteas team manager, Mohammed Moosajee, said.

Smith is unlikely to play in the three-match Twenty20 series, which starts on December 21, as he has not been part of South Africa’s recent T20 squads.

The two-Test series starts at Newlands on January 2.

Kallis, who is recovering from a hamstring injury he picked up on the recent tour to Australia, should also be ready for the Test series.

JP Duminy, however, remains a long-term casualty.

The all-rounder ruptured his Achilles’ tendon early in the Australia series and will remain sidelined until at least June 2013.

The T20 series against New Zealand is followed by a two-Test and three-ODI series in January.

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