Several key South Africa players, including captain Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, and Kagiso Rabada could be rested for the T20I series against Pakistan as they turn their attentions to the Australia Tests. South Africa's head coach Mark Boucher has confirmed this on Thursday.
South Africa are due to tour Pakistan for the first time in 14 years later this month. The two teams will play two Tests and three T20Is with the series set to end on February 14. The Proteas will host Australia next month, with the provisional date for the first Test given as February 18. That could mean that a second-string South Africa side will play the T20I leg of the Pakistan tour.
Speaking to the media ahead of the tour, Mark Boucher has confirmed that South Africa will not play their strongest team in the T20Is against Pakistan. Boucher added that it will give an opportunity to upcoming stars to prove their mettle.
"It won't be our strongest team because the emphasis is on Test cricket against Australia, rightly so. It might be a watered-down T20 team," Boucher said. "And that's not a bad thing. This is an opportunity for guys to put their hands up. Some will be pushed into the deep end and we will see how they respond."
"Most of the South Africa team management might return home to prepare for Australia series" - Mark Boucher
Along with the senior players in the side, head coach Mark Boucher could also return home before the T20Is against Pakistan. A final decision on this is pending, as the dates for the Australia series have not yet been finalized.
"The initial talk was that Enoch (Nkwe) might stay over in Pakistan and finish off the series and I will come back. We are trying to split the management as well as we can to show the importance of both series. We are preparing for most of our management to come back, and one or two of them (will be) staying over," said Boucher.
In Boucher's absence, South Africa assistant coach Enoch Nkwe could take over the coaching duties for the T20I leg of the series against Pakistan. The first Test between South Africa and Pakistan is due to get underway on January 26 in Karachi.Published 14 Jan 2021, 19:57 IST