The recently concluded Quadrangular ODI series in Australia has increased some options to the respective teams along with ensuring some rest to main players before the most important Cricket World Cup 2015.

South Africa Team included uncapped batsman Rilee Rossouw and also left-arm seamer Mthokozisi Shezi for the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe, which will begin from August 17.

Shezi, who recently took a best 6 for 42 in a List A game in Australia, was called up as one of the replacements in the fast-bowling line-up as the selectors chose to rest Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander for the bilateral series. Marchant de Lange and Kyle Abbott have also been picked as replacement of the seniors. However, Steyn, Morkel and Philander will return for the triangular series against Zimbabwe and Australia.

Rossouw was the leading run-scorer in the recent Quadrangular A-team series in Australia, scoring 337 runs in seven matches which included a century and two fifties, scored at an impressive strike rate of 96.01. With Jacques Kallis having announcing his retirement from international cricket, Rossouw is expected to take up the vacant middle-order spot against Zimbabwe and can be in eye of selectors for the CWC 15. Rossouw will also be a part of the squad for the triangular series from August 27.

Andrew Hudson, CSA’s convener of selectors, saiying Rossouw’s inclusion was “well deserved”.

He [Rossouw] has also been a consistent performer in franchise cricket for some time and his selection is well deserved,” Hudson said. “The message is clear to all our players: if you perform at domestic level and then take it through to SA A level, you will be rewarded.

Also, De Lange, who played for South Africa lastly in March 2012 later had to suffer a rib injury last year, also enjoyed success for South Africa A in the Quadrangular series. He finished as the joint highest wicket-taker, with 14 dismissals in six games at an average of 21.71, while Shezi took 11 wickets in four games at 14.90. Abbott was a part of the South Africa Test squad on the recent tour to Sri Lanka, but hasn’t played even an ODI since March last year.

Even the squad for the tri-series will be finalised only after the Zimbabwe ODIs, CSA has announced Under-19 pacer Kagiso Rabada will  travel with the senior squad. Rabada ended as the leading wicket-taker for South Africa at the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year. He picked up 14 wickets from five games, and one of the key performers in their title triumph. “We want him to experience and learn from the environment around the Proteas,” Hudson said.

South Africa squad for Zimbabwe ODIs: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock, Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee RossouwMthokozisi Shezi

    Cricket Statistician and Journalist. Love to churn out facts and stats. Member of the Society of Cricket Statisticians of India (SCSI).

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