Uncapped Theunis de Bruyn has been named in South Africa’s squad for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka, starting December 26. Meanwhile, fast-bowler Morne Morkel, who was in the squad for Australia series but didn’t get to play a single game, has been left out because of a back injury.
The 24-year-old Bruyn, who comes in place of injured Rilee Rossouw, is considered to be a hard-hitting right-hander and a useful seam bowler. He has played 32 first-class matches so far and scored 2534 runs at a healthy average of 48.73 with six centuries and 14 half-centuries. In 31 List A matches, he has two centuries and five half-centuries to his name. In the 2015/16 season, Bruyn was the second highest run-getter for the Titans in the 20-over competition and third highest overall in first-class cricket with 602 runs at an average of 37.62.
“De Bruyn is the latest player to be rewarded for consistently good form at franchise and South Africa A level,” commented CSA selection convener, Linda Zondi.
“He has an outstanding first-class career average of 48.73 (6 centuries) and has made 423 runs at 60.42 in this season’s Sunfoil Series four-day competition.
Rossouw, who is a regular member of South Africa’s ODI squad, hasn’t been considered due to a foot injury. Tabraiz Shamsi, left-arm wristspinner, has been left out while Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers – who resigned from South Africa’s Test captaincy earlier this week – have also been ruled out. De Villiers is currently recovering from his elbow injury while Steyn, who aggravated his shoulder injury during the Australia Tests, is expected to remain out of action for the first half of the next year.
Wayne Parnell, who missed the Australia series due to a rib injury, has returned to the squad.
“As far as the overall squad is concerned they deserve the fullest vote of confidence for their performances in the two recent test series against New Zealand and Australia and we are looking forward to more of the same against Sri Lanka.
“Credit to AB de Villiers for the smooth way the leadership transition has taken place. We certainly look forward to having him back for the limited overs portion of the tour. Faf has done an outstanding job in the last two test series and our leadership is in very good hands,” concluded Zondi.
South Africa will play three Tests against Sri Lanka followed by three T20Is and five ODIs.
The last time Sri Lanka toured South Africa (in 2011-12), they lost both the Test and ODI series 2-1 and 3-2 respectively.
South Africa Test squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.