South Africa name Klaasen, Mulder for first two Tests against Australia
The squad sees the return of captain Faf du Plessis from injury, alongside AB de Villiers and Quinton de Kock, while Dale Steyn remains out
South Africa have announced a 15 member squad for the first two matches of the upcoming four-match Test series against Australia at home. Exciting wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen and all-rounder Wiaan Mulder have been included in the team which is missing Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo.
The Titans' keeper Klaasen played as a replacement for Quinton de Kock against India, whose injured left wrist had ruled him out of all the remaining limited-overs matches – four ODIs and three T20s – following the first two ODIs. Klaasen fashioned both of South Africa's victories in the limited-overs leg of the India tour, also winning over the selectors with dependable wicket-keeping.
24-year-old Mulder of the Highveld Lions made his ODI debut against Bangladesh last September, picking up a wicket while contributing only 2 with the bat.
In some good news, captain Faf du Plessis will be returning to action after a finger injury kept him out of five out of six ODIs and all three T20s against India. Du Plessis had hurt his finger at Durban in the first ODI of the India series, with young Aiden Markram leading South Africa for the remaining ODIs and JP Duminy taking over in the shortest format.
AB de Villiers, recovering from a left knee injury, has also been named in the squad, having missed out on the T20 series against India. The team also includes Temba Bavuma, who missed out on the playing eleven when India arrived to play, courtesy of de Villiers' return to five-day cricket during South Africa's day-night four-day Test against Zimbabwe in December. However, the absence of Dale Steyn, out with a hurt left heel, continues to haunt South Africa with a mighty Australia unit landing to play the first four-match Test series between the sides.
The first Test starts on March 1 at Durban with the tour moving over to Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg.
South Africa squad for first two Tests against Australia: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungisani Ngidi, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada