SA gets new blood

2014-08-06 00:00

FORMER Dolphins left-arm seamer Mthokozisi Shezi (26) and Knights left-hand batsman Rilee Rossouw (24) have been added to the Protea ODI squad for the tour of Zimbabwe.

The Proteas are set to play three ODI matches against our neighbours and this affords ­Andrew Hudson, convenor of selectors, and his panel the ­opportunity to blood some new players.

Shezi and Rossouw are rewarded for their recent form in Australia, where they played in a quadrangular A team series.

Rossouw was the overall leading run scorer, making two fifties and a century in seven innings for a total of 337 runs. His strike rate was a healthy 96,01 and with the recent retirement from One-Day cricket of Jacques Kallis, he will be an important cog in the Protea middle order.

Shezi, recently departed from the Dolphins for the Cobras, took 6-42 in one of the matches and steps into the squad, joining Kyle Abbott, Marchant de Lange, Wayne Parnell, Ryan McLaren and Beuran Hendricks as the fast bowling options.

After the recent tour of Sri Lanka, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel have been rested, allowing the next crop of quicks an opportunity to impress.

Shezi and De Lange were the leading SA A bowlers in Australia, Shezi nabbing 11 wickets in four games at 14,90 and De Lange 14 wickets in six games at 21,71. He was the joint leading wicket-taker.

“This is a great opportunity for these players and if they perform in the three ODIs, there is no reason for them not to be ­included in the squad for the triangular series involving us, Zimbabwe and Australia,” said Hudson.

“Our three frontline quicks toiled in Sri Lanka and deserve a rest.”

Hudson added that selecting new players for international duty sent a message to domestic cricket in the country.

Rossouw has been a tidy performer for the Knights over many seasons and with age on his side, there is no better time for him to prove his worth.

“He could fill a vital position in our batting ranks at ODI level and we believe he has the talent and mental strength to take that responsibility,” said Hudson. “He is definitely part of our plans for the triangular series.”

De Lange, who has been plagued by injury, last played for the Proteas in March 2012. He nursed a rib injury last year but looked quick and purposeful in Australia.

Abbott will relish the opportunity to build up some steam and enjoy game time. He last played an ODI in March in 2013.

Consistent performances for the Knights and recently the SA A team in Australia see Rilee Rossouw given the opportunity to plug the Protea middle order against Zimbabwe after the retirement of Jacques Kallis.

ODI V Zim

1st ODI - August 17,

Bulawayo, 9.30 am

2nd ODI - August 19,

Bulawayo, 9.30 am

3rd ODI - August 21,

Bulawayo, 9.30 am

SA ODI SQUAD: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock, Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendriks, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee Rossouw, Mthokozisi Shezi.

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