As Quinton de Kock and Dane Vilas are being dropped from the squad, AB de Villers will take the wicket-keeping gloves for the first two Tests of four-Test series against England at home.
Today, CSA ( Cricket South Africa) named their 13-man squad for the first two Tests, where de Kock and Dane Vilas were excluded and uncapped left-handed batsman Rilee Rossouw was included.
Quinton de Kock and Dane Vilas are dropped from the team for their poor batting form, but they are included in the South Africa A squad, who will play two two-day fixture against England before the starting of the series. Vilas will captain that side and also keep wickets.
Meanwhile, AB de Villiers will return to his wicket-keeping role for the first two Tests. Last time he kept wickets in Test was against West Indies at home in 2014/15 series. He already grabbed 87 dismissals in Test cricket as a wicket-keeper including 4 stump-outs.
The four pacers in the team are Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott. Vernon Philander still not fit for play. Only one spinner has been picked in the squad as Dane Piedt while Imran Tahir and Simon Harmer left out the squad.
CSA selection convener Linda Zondi said about this selection, “One of the issues that concerned us during the tour to India was the lack of depth to our batting, particularly in the lower order and the change in AB’s role means that we can now have a specialist batsman at number seven.”
He added, “We now feel that the side has a much better balance about it without in any way reducing the tactical options available to our captain, Hashim Amla.”
The first Test will be played in Durban from 26th December 2015, while the second Test will be played in Cape Town from January 2nd. The announced South African squad and announced England squad are given in the following along with the tour fixtures details.
South Africa Squad (for first 2 Tests): Hashim Amla (captain), Kyle Abbott, Temba Bavuma, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl
England squad (full Test series squad): Alastair Cook (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wkt), Nick Compton, Mark Footitt, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Samit Patel, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, Chris Woakes
December 15-17: SA Invitation XI v England, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
December 20-22: SA Invitation XI v England, Pietermaritzburg Oval
December 26-30: 1st Sunfoil Test match, Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban
January 2-6: 2nd Sunfoil Test match, Newlands, Cape Town
January 14-18: 3rd Sunfoil Test match, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
January 22-26: 4th Sunfoil Test match, SuperSport Park, Centurion
January 30: 1-day tour match, Diamond Oval, Kimberley
February 3: 1st Momentum ODI, Chevrolet Park, Bloemfontein
February 6: 2nd Momentum ODI, St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth
February 9: 3rd Momentum ODI, SuperSport Park, Centurion
February 12: 4th Momentum ODI, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
February 14: 5th Momentum ODI, Newlands, Cape Town
February 17: T20 tour match, SA Invitation XI v England, BolandPark, Paarl
February 19: 1st KFC T20 International, Newlands, Cape Town
February 21: 2nd KFC T20 International, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg