Quinton de Kock will lead the Proteas’ Test squad for the 2020/2021 season. The decision came as Cricket South Africa (CSA) named the squad that will take on Sri Lanka in the two-match, Test Series to be played over the traditional Boxing Day and New Year’s windows.
The fixtures will form part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC).
De Kock’s appointment for this season is motivated by the light Test cricket load on this season, with the Proteas only playing three series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia respectively.
The National Selection Panel led by Convenor of Selectors, Victor Mpitsang, is confident of De Kock’s leadership capabilities and the leadership he has shown so far and will spend the next few months finalizing the appointment of the player who will take on the permanent role.
Meanwhile, Sarel Erwee, Glenton Stuurman and Kyle Verreynne have received maiden Proteas Test call-ups for the tour, while the latter’s former South Africa under-19s captain, Wiaan Mulder, makes a return to the national team after a period of prolonged injury kept him out of action.
Thirty-one-year-old Erwee has enjoyed a long period of consistently good performances which have culminated into his call-up for this tour, not least of which was his 199 in the Dolphins’ CSA 4-Day Domestic Series season-opener against the Lions last month. He averages 60.28 with 469 runs in eight innings so far in the competition.
Stuurman will make an exciting addition to the Proteas’ bowling attack. The 28-year-old, right-arm medium-pacer from Oudtshoorn boasts an impressive 4-Day Series record of 181 wickets from 46 matches at a bowling average of 21.28 for the Warriors. His best bowling figures of 7/12 are capped off by a high score of 81 from his overall 671 runs, making him a player to look out for in this format.
The last season has been an impressive one for 23-year-old Verreynne in the 4-Day Domestic Series. He amassed 551 runs in 11 innings, at an average of 55,10, including two centuries and three half-centuries for the Cape Cobras. Before joining the national team for the limited-overs tour against England, he had deposited 247 runs in two matches, at an average of 61,75 to his competition account.
To say that the Proteas will be sporting a confident batting unit would be putting it lightly. Aiden Markram, who had his Test summer cut short by a fractured finger last season, has been outstanding for the Titans in the first few rounds of this season’s 4-Day Series, smashing three centuries and returning a total of 469 runs in four matches, at an average of 78,16. Keegan Petersen has a century and half-century under his own belt for the Dolphins, averaging 57,66 in the competition, while Mulder brings much-need all-rounder capabilities into the fold with a fresh, unbeaten century from last week to his tally for the Lions, also enjoying an above-50 average (59,25).
Kagiso Rabada and Dwaine Pretorius are not yet fit enough for the physical exertions of Test cricket as a result of injuries picked up during the England tour. They and one or two other players being considered by the selectors will go through assessments in the next few days to see whether they will be fit enough to be added to the squad ahead of the second match. An update will be provided next week.
Lungi Ngidi will therefore lead the pace attack with Anrich Nortje and Beuran Hendricks, who both impressed last summer against England. Ngidi missed out on Test cricket last season because of injury.
The visitors made history in February 2019, when they became the first Asian team to win a Test series in South Africa after emphatically beating the hosts 2-0. They are currently in fifth place on WTC the points table with 27 matches played and South Africa is sixth with 23 matches played.
Proteas Test squad against Sri Lanka:
Quinton de Kock (captain, Titans), Temba Bavuma (Lions), Aiden Markram (Titans), Faf du Plessis (Titans), Beuran Hendricks (Lions), Dean Elgar (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Lungi Ngidi (Titans), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions), Sarel Erwee (Dolphins), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Glenton Stuurman (Warriors), Wiaan Mulder (Lions), Keegan Petersen (Dolphins), Kyle Verreynne (Cape Cobras).
Test Series vs Sri Lanka
Saturday, 26-30 December 2020: 1st Test match (WTC) South Africa v Sri Lanka, SuperSport Park, Centurion.
Sunday, 03-07 January 2021: 2nd Test match (WTC) South Africa vs Sri Lanka, Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg.