Cricket South Africa unveiled the Proteas’ squads for the upcoming all-format series against India, scheduled from December 10 to January 7. The tour, known as the Freedom Series, encompasses three T20Is, three ODIs, and two Tests. Notably, ODI skipper Temba Bavuma will be absent from the 50-over games, maintaining the recent trend, and fast bowler Kagiso Rabada is excluded from the white-ball leg to prioritize the Test series.
White-Ball Squad Exclusions
In a statement, CSA explained that Bavuma and Rabada would skip the white-ball segment, stating, “as emphasis is placed on the Test series.” Aiden Markram will lead the ODI side in Bavuma’s absence while retaining his T20 captaincy.
Anrich Nortje and Wayne Parnell, undergoing rehabilitation for lower back stress fracture and left shoulder injuries, respectively, were not considered for selection. White-ball coach Rob Walter emphasized strategic planning for the red-ball series, allowing senior players to prepare through domestic cricket.
Western Province’s Mihlali Mpongwana, David Bedingham, and Nandre Burger earned their maiden national call-ups. Burger’s remarkable all-round performance led to his inclusion in all three squads, while Bedingham joins the Test squad. Mpongwana, recognized for his One-Day Cup achievements, is named in the ODI squad.
Return and New Faces
Kyle Verreynne, the WP wicket-keeper, returns to the ODI and Test squads after a successful domestic season. Notable selections also include Dolphins seamer Ottniel Baartman in white-ball squads and Lions all-rounder Wiaan Mulder in ODI and Test squads.
New ICC World Test Championship Cycle
With the commencement of a new ICC World Test Championship cycle, Proteas coach Shukri Conrad expressed excitement. The squad features new faces like Bedingham, Burger, and Tristan Stubbs in the Test squad. Conrad believes the squad, with both experience and fresh talent, can maintain their strong record against India at home.
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