A late change has been made to South Africa’s squad which will take on Pakistan in a 2-Test match series commencing on 26th January. Right-arm Dolphins pace bowler, Ottniel Baartman has been replaced by Warriors’ Marco Jansen.
Cricket South Africa didn’t disclose any specific reasons for Baartman’s late withdrawal from the squad except that it was a medical matter. His replacement, 20-year-old Marco Jansen is the number two ranked bowler of this season’s CSA 4-Day Franchise Series having taken 21 wickets at an average of 20.71.
The Quinton de Kock led squad has cleared two separate rounds of Covid tests on Tuesday and Thursday, and have left for Pakistan for their first tour since 2007. They will quarantine in Karachi before training. The first Test will be played on 26th January in Karachi and the second in Rawalpindi followed by a 3-match T20I series in Lahore.
The Proteas are travelling with 9 fast bowlers in their squad. The team is strengthened by the return of spearhead paceman, Kagiso Rabada. He has recovered from a groin strain owing to which he missed the home Test series against Sri Lanka. The 25-year-old is closing in on 200 Test wickets; he is just 3 wickets away from the landmark figure which he took in 43 matches at a superb average of 22.95.
South Africa steamrolled Sri Lanka in the 2-Test series; winning by an innings and 45 runs in Centurion and by 10 wickets in Johannesburg. The Proteas will play Australia after the Pakistan series. Coach Mark Boucher has opined that considering the short gap ahead of the Test series against Tim Paine’s side, they wouldn’t be able to play their best eleven in the T20I against Pakistan.
“It won’t be our strongest team because the emphasis is on Test cricket against Australia, rightly so. It might be a watered-down T20 team. And that’s not a bad thing. At the start of the season, I alluded to the fact that we are going to have to use a lot of players. This is an opportunity for guys to put their hands up,” Mark Boucher said.
South Africa’s Squad to tour Pakistan:
Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Daryn Dupavillon, Marco Jansen.