South Africa have named uncapped batsman Rassie van der Dussen in their 14-man squad for the first two contests of the five-match home one-day international series against Pakistan as they explore options ahead of the World Cup later this year.
The 29-year-old Van der Dussen was the highest scorer in the recent Mzansi Super League (MSL) domestic T20 competition, averaging almost 60 in 12 matches at a strike-rate of close to 140.
Returning to the squad are seamer Dane Paterson and stalwart batsman Hashim Amla, who missed the away series win in Australia in November through injury. Batsman JP Duminy and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi have not been considered because of injury.
“We need to look at all the options available to us as we get closer to selecting our final squad for this year’s World Cup and Rassie and Dane are two players who have been knocking strongly on the door in all formats,” Cricket South Africa selection convener Linda Zondi said in a statement on Thursday.
“Those players who went to Australia and have not been selected for the first two matches — Farhaan Behardien, Aiden Markram and Chris Morris — are by no means out of the picture, and they may well get further opportunities in the second half of the series.”
Earlier, The chairman of the Pakistan men’s cricket selection committee, Inzamam-ul-Haq, today announced the 16-member squad for the upcoming ODI series against South Africa, which will start in Port Elizabeth on 19 January.
The side will be led by Sarfaraz Ahmed and includes three openers (Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood), four middle-order batsmen (Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Hussain Talat).
The first ODI will be played in Port Elizabeth on Jan. 19, with the second in Durban three days later.
The 50-over World Cup is being held in England and Wales from May 30-July 14.
South Africa squad for ODIs:
Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen
Pakistan squad for ODIs:
Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari
- 19 January – 1st ODI, Port Elizabeth (d/n)
- 22 January – 2nd ODI, Durban (d/n)
- 25 January – 3rd ODI, Centurion ((d/n)
- 27 January – 4th ODI, Johannesburg (d)
- 30 January – 5th ODI, Cape Town (d/n)