With SA20 clashing with South Africa's tour of New Zealand, South Africa have announced a weakened Test squad. So much so that, Titans' uncapped batter Neil Brand will captain the side that includes Test batters David Bedingham and Keegan Petersen, who are currently involved in the ongoing Test series against India, along with Zubayr Hamza who has been called up for the New Year’s Test.
Brand, who led South Africa A to a 2-1 series win over West Indies A earlier this month, is one of seven uncapped players - the others being batter Raynard van Tonder, all-rounders Ruan de Swardt and Mihlali Mpongwana, seam bowler Tshepo Moreki, spinner Shaun von Berg and wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin.
“Firstly I would like to congratulate the players that will be going on a Proteas tour for the first time. It is a real honour to represent your country, so they should savour the moment. The players picked for this tour have every chance of challenging New Zealand and we have full confidence they will do exactly that when we arrive for the first Test match at Mount Maunganui," Test head coach Shukri Conrad said.
"Most of these guys participated in the recent 'A' series against West Indies where they showed that they have what it takes against players of international calibre. That experience will no doubt leave them in a better position for what we expect to be a testing series in New Zealand."
The squad will depart for New Zealand on 19 January and the first Test will be played from February 4 in Mount Maunganui.
Squad: Neil Brand (captain) David Bedingham, Ruan de Swardt, Clyde Fortuin, Zubayr Hamza, Tshepo Moreki, Mihlali Mpongwana, Duanne Olivier, Dane Paterson, Keegan Petersen, Dane Piedt, Raynard van Tonder, Shaun von Berg and Khaya Zondo