South Africa have named a 13-man squad for the upcoming three-Test series against Pakistan at home, calling up batsman Zubayr Hamza and recalling paceman Duanne Olivier.
South Africa on Thursday named uncapped batsman Zubayr Hamza in a 13-man squad for a three-Test series against Pakistan, starting in Centurion on December 26.
There is also a recall for fast bowler Duanne Olivier in the absence of rising star Lungi Ngidi because of a long-term knee injury.
Ngidi had been expected to become a regular member of the fast bowling attack following the retirement of Morne Morkel at the end of last season.
Hamza, 23, had a breakthrough season with the Cape Cobras franchise last season, scoring 828 first-class runs at an average of 69.00. He also had a successful tour of India with South Africa A earlier this year. But he may have to wait to make his debut.
Hamza, the 23-year-old batsman, is the only new face in the squad, while Olivier has been given a chance to add to his five Test appearances following the injury-enforced absence of Lungi Ngidi.
“Zubayr has been one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into the South Africa A tour to India where he averaged over 50 in the four-day series against tough opposition and under tough conditions,” pointed out Cricket South Africa National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi.
His selection is part of our vision for the future,” said selection convener Linda Zondi. “It is inevitable that some of our senior players will start thinking of retiring in years to come.
Zubayr Hamza, the 23-year-old Cape Cobras batsman, could make his Test debut against Pakistan on Boxing Day. If he gains selection in the final XI he will become the 100th player to represent South Africa in Test cricket since readmission.
It will be Pakistan’s first Test tour of South Africa since 2012/13 when Graeme Smith led the hosts to a 3-0 clean sweep against Misbah-ul-Haq’s tourists.
South African Squad:
(1) Faf du Plessis (capt), (2) Hashim Amla, (3) Temba Bavuma, (4) Theunis de Bruyn, (5) Quinton de Kock (wkt) (6) Dean Elgar, (7) Zubayr Hamza, (8) Keshav Maharaj, (9) Aiden Markram, (10) Duanne Olivier, (11) Vernon Philander, (12) Kagiso Rabada, (13) Dale Steyn.