Farhaan Behardien will lead a new-look South African T20 team against Sri Lanka. The 13-man squad for the first two matches does not include the likes of Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada.
Having signed Kolpak deals, Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw and David Wiese were not considered because their international careers have effectively ended. Only four members including Behardien, David Miller, Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso – who were part of South Africa’s last T20 matches have found a place in the squad.
The decision seems to have been taken in order to keep the experienced players fresh and raring to go for the New Zealand tour which starts in a week after the Sri Lanka ODIs. South Africa and Sri Lanka will play 3 T20Is and 5 ODIs.
South Africa selector Linda Zondi said, “We have decided to rest some of our key senior players for this series.” He added, “This is the last chance we have to do this as the ODI series that follows is an important part of our build-up to the Champions Trophy tournament in England in the middle of the year.”
“Those senior players who are involved in the Indian Premier League will be playing non-stop from now until the end of August with the tours coming up to New Zealand and England in addition to the ICC event.”
There is a chance that AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel might return for the last T20I of the series. The experienced players have been out with injury for quite some time. They are also due to play some domestic games in the coming weeks.
Among the new additions, there is Dane Paterson who has taken six wickets from nine matches at 39.00 in the domestic T20 competition in South Africa year but performed well during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 editions.
Titans bowler Lungi Ngidi and Jon-Jon Smuts from the Warriors were also rewarded a place due to their good performances. Theunis de Bruyn who was the reserve batsmen in the Test squad has also been included along with Mangaliso Mosehle is set to take the wicketkeeping gloves.
South Africa T20 squad:
Farhaan Behardien (capt), Theunis de Bruyn, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heino Kuhn, David Miller, Mangaliso Mosehle, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts