Temba Bavuma replaces Dean Elgar as South Africa's new Test captain, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced in a media release. Bavuma will lead the Proteas in One-Day Internationals (ODI), but has relinquished his T20 International (T20I) captaincy. A new T20I captain will be announced in due course.
Elgar lead South Africa 15 times in Tests over a two-year period and still remains available for selection. He has been named in the Test squad for the home series against West Indies, starting February 28 at Centurion. This will be the first time Bavuma will lead South Africa in Tests.
"Cricket South Africa would like to welcome Temba as the new captain of the Proteas Men’s national team,” commented Director of Cricket (DoC) Enoch Nkwe. “He is a player that has vast captaincy experience both at domestic level and on the international stage having led both the ODI and T20I teams since March 2021 when he was appointed.
“We trust he will deliver on all our expectations and help carry the team forward after some excellent work by his predecessor Dean during the same period. At the same time I would like to sincerely thank Dean for all his commitment to the role over the past two years. He helped the team navigate through some stormy waters and put them in good position on the ICC World Test Championship table.
“Both men have made us proud with the work they have done within the wider Proteas group and look forward to the next step in what is a new era for the Proteas under the leadership of dual coaches Shukri Conrad and Rob Walter.”
Moreover, Victor Mpitsang has been relieved from his duties National Convenor of Selectors. In his absence, the head coaches will have a say in team selections at least on an interim basis.
“We also felt this was an opportune time to reassess the selection team and have decided to make some changes that we expect will help us with planning better in the future,” Nkwe explained.
“In this regard, we thank Victor for the time he has invested with the national team over the last few years and wish him well for the future.”
Speaking of the Test squad, Aiden Markram and Keegan Petersen return to the fold. Petersen had missed the tour of Australia due to a hamstring injury, while Markram returns after leading Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the title in the inaugural SA20.
Also, Western Province batter Tony de Zorzi earns his maiden Test call-up following a string of impressive performances in the CSA 4-day Series campaign in which he has accumulated 489 runs at 122.25. Left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy too earns a recall to the Test side for the first time since 2019.
“This is a hugely important series for the Proteas as they begin life under a new captain and new Test coach in Shukri. As you will see, most of the players selected are those that have done very well for the national team in recent years and have been responsible for our current excellent standing in the WTC," Nkwe said.
"There is a good blend of youth and experience and we are confident that the new coaching staff will get the best out of them as they build towards a better future for South African cricket.”
Test head coach Shukri Conrad added, “We believe we have selected the strongest possible group for this series against a strong West Indies team who are coming here fresh from beating Zimbabwe.
“We are pleased to see the likes of Keegan Petersen fit again and ready to play after his injury. He will add some much-needed stability to the batting, which has also been strengthened by the return of Aiden Markram and maiden call-up of Tony de Zorzi.
“We look forward to a good series between two teams that are rebuilding and we expect to only get better as we spend more time together as a group in the weeks and months ahead.”
The squad is expected to assemble in Centurion on February 24. The Test series will be followed by three ODIs and as many T20Is.
South Africa Test squad for West Indies Tests: Temba Bavuma (c) Gerald Coetzee, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Senuran Muthusamy, Anrich Nortje, Keegan Petersen, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton