CAPE TOWN, (Reuters) – South Africa have included uncapped right-handed batsman Stiaan van Zyl and off-spinner Dane Piedt in their test squad for the two-match tour of Sri Lanka next month.
The series will be the first for new test captain Hashim Amla, who takes over from the retired Graeme Smith and is the first black cricketer to be handed the role on a permanent basis.
Both Van Zyl and Piedt play for the Cape Town-based Cobras franchise and come into the squad after strong performances in the domestic four-day competition.
The 26-year-old Van Zyl was the leading run scorer in the competition with 933 in 10 matches, while Piedt, 24, headed the list of wicket-takers with 45 in eight games.
“This emphasises once again the consistent route the selectors have always followed to recognise form through the … path of franchise and South Africa A performance,” Cricket South Africa (CSA) convener of selectors Andrew Hudson said in a statement on Tuesday.
Back-up wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock and seam bowler Kyle Abbott, who were not in the original squad for the test series against Australia in March but were called up as injury replacements, have been retained, and there is also a recall for leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
The players to drop out of the test squad are wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren and Robin Peterson, while Smith has retired.
“The tour to Sri Lanka obviously has different tactical considerations to a home series, and that required us to alter the balance between our seam and spin bowling options,” Hudson said.
CSA also announced the one-day squad that will play three matches prior to the five-day games.
Fast bowler Beuren Hendricks makes his 50-over debut in place of Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who is recovering from surgery.
The other changes include Twenty20 skipper Faf du Plessis taking the place of Smith and Aaron Phangiso’s addition as a second spinner.
The three ODIs take place between July 6-12. The first test runs from July 16-20 in Galle and the second begins on July 24 in Colombo.
Test squad: Hashim Amla (captain), Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl.
ODI squad: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn.