Rudolph recalled to Test squad

2011-10-22 12:49

Jacques Rudolph will make a return to South African Test cricket after a five-year absence, when the team take on Australia, it was announced today.

Rudolph played the last of his 35 Tests against Sri Lanka in August 2006 and then went into a self-imposed exile the following year when he signed a contract with Yorkshire in the UK.

He initially aimed to develop himself into a more complete cricketer. His intention was always to resume his international career for the Proteas.
He is the top run scorer in the 2011/2012 SuperSport series, scoring 568 runs at an average of 94.66.

His highest score of 210 runs came during a match against the Highveld Lions in Potchefstroom, North West, last week. Rudolph also went on to score 87 in the second innings.

He is almost 200 runs ahead of the Lion’s Neil McKenzie who is the second highest domestic scorer this season. “Jacques will open the batting with Graeme Smith,” said selection convener Andrew Hudson.

“His experience and current form makes him an asset to the Proteas and at the age of 30, he has plenty of good years of cricket ahead of him.
“Jacques has underlined once again the importance of good domestic form and the fact that it is the gateway to national selection.”

Two Test debutantes were also included in the squad, Natal Dolphins’ leg spinner Imran Tahir and Cape Cobras’ all-rounder Vernon Philander.

The selectors have named a squad of 14 for the two Test series against the visitors which starts at Sahara Newlands in Cape Town on November 9 with the second match at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg a week later.

The squad includes batsman AB de Villiers who is recovering from a hand fracture. He will be subjected to a fitness test before the start of the series.

Tahir and Philander have both represented the Proteas in the limited overs format but have yet to play in Test cricket.

Test squad: Smith (Cape Cobras, captain), De Villiers (Titans, vice-captain), Hashim Amla (Dolphins), Mark Boucher (Cape Cobras), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Paul Harris (Titans), Tahir (Dolphins), Jacques Kallis (Cape Cobras), Morne Morkel (Titans), Philander (Cape Cobras), Ashwell Prince (Warriors), Rudolph (Titans), Dale Steyn (Cape Cobras) and Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Warriors).

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