South Africa have announced their ODI squad set to tour Australia for 3 ODIs. All-rounders Chris Morris and Farhaan Behardien mark their return to the national fold. Morris was sidelined due to a back injury he suffered during the IPL, which ruled him out of the tour of Sri Lanka as well as the home series against Zimbabwe.
However, he made a splendid comeback, claiming a 6 wicket haul for the Titans against the Warriors in South Africa's domestic Sunfoil 4-day series. The National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi seemed to agree. "Chris confirmed his fitness with his excellent form for the Titans in the first two rounds of the 4-Day Domestic Series," said National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi. "He is the leading wicket-taker in this competition to date and also adds value as a batting option in the lower-order," he said to Cricbuzz.
South Africa are suffering from an injury crisis at the moment, with several players ruled out and a select few returning from injuries. Wiaam Mulder, the promising all-rounder too is ruled at for the series with a back injury.
Fast bowler Dwaine Pretorius stands to benefit as he was drafted into the squad at Mulder's expense. "With Wiaan Mulder ruled out at the moment through injury we need to look at our resources as far as batting all-rounder options are concerned and Dwaine, in particular, fits into this category. " said Zondi.
Hashim Amla was earlier confirmed to be out of contention for the Australia series with an injury and to add to that, JP Duminy too has been ruled out - not just for this series, but for the new MSL too. This leaves a huge hole in experience, especially in the batting department. Farhaan Behardien was called up to beef the batting with experience.
This is a golden chance for him to cement a spot in the middle-order for the World Cup, especially with an out of sorts David Miller failing to inspire confidence. "We have also lost a lot of experience in our specialist batting order through the injuries to Hashim Amla and JP Duminy, and Farhaan gives us another experienced option in the top order," Zondi said.
The bowling looks fairly settled, with veterans Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir hitting peak form during the Zimbabwe series. Few relative newbies like Heinrich Klaasen and Reeza Hendricks too found their groove at the international level to varying extents.
"We feel that we got quite a lot out of the Zimbabwe series, notably the form of Imran Tahir and the return of Dale Steyn to his very best. Heinrich Klaasen took his chances well both with bat and behind the stumps and the same applies to a lesser extent to Reeza Hendricks in a series in which batting was not easy. We are confident that our Vision 2019 strategy for the ICC World Cup is progressing along the right lines," concluded Zondi.
The series consists of 3 ODis, followed by a one-off T20.
Squad: Faf Du Plessis (c), Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn