Duanne Olivier, who last played a Test for South Africa in 2019, has been named in South Africa’s 21-member side for the three-match series against India. Glenton Stuurman and Prenelan Subrayen too got the nod, while Ryan Rickelton and Sisanda Magala earned maiden Test call-ups. After being rested for the ODI series against the Netherlands, Kagiso Rabada, Quinton de Kock and Anrich Nortje are back in the squad for the all-important series as South Africa aim to make a positive start to their ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 journey.
Olivier, who has played ten Tests since his debut in 2017, returned to South Africa earlier this year after a stint as a Kolpak player and has been in red hot form this season. In the four first-class matches in 4-Day Franchise series, the pacer has bagged 28 wickets at an average of 11.14 with 9 for 95 being his best in a game. Keeper-batter Rickelton has scored two centuries – 117 against Boland and 159 against North West – to make his case while Stuurman impressed against India with seven wickets in the second unofficial Test. Erwee struck 163 for Dolphins against Titans while pacer Magala had bagged 15 wickets in three first-class matches before making his ODI debut against the Netherlands. Lungi Ngidi will make a return to the side after recovering from COVID-19 as the selectors have given the think-tank plenty of pace options to work with.
Dean Elgar will lead the side while Temba Bavuma will be his deputy with the series set to kick off on December 26. “We as the Selectors are excited for the return of Test cricket. This format is very important to CSA and keeping it relevant and alive is one of the organisation’s priorities. We are really looking forward to the return of Dean Elgar and his men, it’s been a long few months since the last time we saw them dominate in the West Indies. We are confident in the team that we have selected and believe fully in backing the talent that we have unearthed and cultivated over the last couple of seasons and giving players the backing that they deserve when they have continuously done well over a significant period of time. This Test series is also important in terms of getting some points in the Test Championship table and we are confident that this group will pick up from where they left off and give us a good show on home soil.” Victor Mpitsang, the Convenor of Selectors, said.
The first Test will be played in Centurion while the next two matches will be played in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The series will be followed by three ODI from January 19.