Old and new for Proteas

AB back to cap­tain ODI side, Mor­ris adds ‘that thing’ and Ngidi re­warded

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - LUN­GANI ZAMA

AB DE Vil­liers is back. The South African lim­ited-overs cap­tain will re­turn to in­ter­na­tional ac­tion to­mor­row evening in Cape Town, in the fi­nal T20 In­ter­na­tional against Sri Lanka, and then re­sume his du­ties as cap­tain of the ODI side which will play the tourist in five matches around the coun­try.

“AB is a world-class player, and it is very ex­cit­ing to see that he has scored a hun­dred in his first game back af­ter a long time out with in­jury,” Cricket South Africa se­lec­tion con­vener, Linda Zondi, com­mented yes­ter­day.

Amongst some new faces that he will work with, De Vil­liers will have ex­cit­ing bowl­ing prospect Lungi Ngidi, whose form in the T20 se­ries has been re­warded with a pro­mo­tion to the 50-over squad.

“That was the point of this T20 se­ries squad. As much as we like win­ning all the time, it was also an op­por­tu­nity for these guys to show if they have what it takes at the next level,” Zondi pointed out.

“Even in the loss on Sun­day, I was quite chuffed with the way the guys fought un­til the end. We were not de­fend­ing that many runs, but the guys like Lungi showed char­ac­ter and that is great for the fu­ture of South African cricket.”

Chris Mor­ris, pic­tured, who also missed the fa­mous clean-sweep se­ries against Aus­tralia last year, also re­turns to the squad af­ter in­jury.

“He has got ‘that thing’ which he brings to the game, and it is great to have him back. He is also very ex­pe­ri­enced and he will give us more op­tions as an all-rounder.”

Zondi also re­vealed that the team was se­lected with an eye on the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy, with only 10 games left be­fore the ICC event starts in Eng­land.

“There are some slots that are open in the team now, and there is an op­por­tu­nity for some­one to take the new ball and also up­front with the bat. We want to see who will step up and show that they can de­liver for us, be­cause the Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy is not too far away.”

“We have cho­sen this squad (how­ever) for the first three games only,” the se­lec­tion chief ex­plained.

Be­fore the 50-over se­ries starts in Port El­iz­a­beth on Satur­day, the Proteas have a se­ries-de­cid­ing T20 in­ter­na­tional at New­lands to­mor­row evening, and Zondi said it is great for the young squad un­der the lead­er­ship of Farhaan Be­har­dien to play un­der that pres­sure.

“That is what it is all about, and it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how the guys han­dle that sit­u­a­tion. Ob­vi­ously, hav­ing a player like AB back is a big boost, and I am sure he will want to make an im­pact.”


JOY TIME: SA ‘s Lungi Ngidi, left, cel­e­brates af­ter dis­miss­ing Di­nesh Chandi­mal, for 22 dur­ing the sec­ond T20 In­ter­na­tiona against Sri Lanka.

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