SOUTH Africa have left out former captain Faf du Plessis from their squad for the three-match one-day international series against England.
The 36-year-old is being rested for the series – which starts in Cape Town on Friday – after competing in the T20s against England, which the visitors swept 3-0, and in the Indian Premier League for the Chennai Super Kings.
Du Plessis joins injured Kagiso Rabada on the sidelines after the fast bowler suffered an adductor injury earlier this week – Rabada is not expected to return until the Test series against Sri Lanka later this month.
Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks and Pite van Biljon were also released from the squad on Thursday as the numbers were reduced to 18.
All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo and batsman David Miller are ready to return in the ODI series after missing the T20s following Covid quarantines.
South Africa bowling coach Charl Langeveldt also feels paceman Junior Dala can step up in the absence of the injured Rabada – Dala has not played ODI cricket for his country since two caps in August 2018.
South Africa ODI squad
Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Jon- Jon Smuts, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne
Langeveldt said: “KG [Rabada] is a massive loss for us because he always strikes with the new ball and we speak a lot about taking wickets in the first 10 overs so we can shift pressure on to the opposition.
“We see Junior as purely a 50-over bowler because he hits hard lengths and is aggressive. He can use the two bouncers and two new balls you get in ODIs. We’ve worked on upskilling him with slower balls and yorkers, too. Junior also gives us that extra pace and aggression.”
Andile Phehlukwayo has taken 69 wickets in 58 ODIs for South Africa, with three four-wicket hauls and a best of 4-22
On Phehlukwayo’s return, Langeveldt added: “To have Andile back would give us six bowlers, which is great for us in 50-over cricket. He has a special one-day record and is also an option bowling at the back end.
“We need to be clever and be able to have that next level of intensity. We must be aggressive in both our batting and our bowling. You can’t sit back against England.”