Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday named the 16-man squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against Australia, which gets underway at the Gabba in Brisbane from December 17. Pacer Gerald Coetzee has earned his maiden call-up to the South Africa red-ball setup after impressing for his domestic team. The 22-year-old has garnered 40 wickets at an average of 28.82 and a career-best 4-47 in his 13 first-class matches thus far.
There is also a recall for Theunis de Bruyn, who last featured for the national side in 2019. The right-hander, who has 12 Test caps, has enjoyed success with the Momentum Multiply Titans in the CSA 4-Day Domestic Series with a first-class average of 41.83, including a title-winning 143 in the final round of matches last term. Another key batter Rassie van der Dussen has recovered from the finger injury that cut short his tour to England earlier in the year and the subsequent ICC Men’s T20 World Cup to take his place in the squad, while Keshav Maharaj is cleared for the tour. The spinner sustained a low-grade groin muscle injury at the T20 World Cup in Australia and is currently undergoing treatment and rehabilitation.
Wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen replaces Ryan Rickelton – the DP World Lions gloveman, who played the last of his three Tests against England in September, has an ankle injury that forced him to be overlooked by the national selectors but allows him to still be picked by his domestic team. Meanwhile, top-order batter Keegan Petersen is also unavailable for selection after sustaining a severe injury to his hamstring playing for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in the CSA T20 Challenge final in Potchefstroom earlier this month.
The squad will depart for Australia on December 1 and as part of their preparation, Dean Elgar’s side will play an unofficial four-day match against Cricket Australia XI from December 9 to 12 at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. “We are pleased with the group of players that have been assembled for this tour. I think the selectors now have a core group of Proteas that has been built and it is just about building on what we have. There is a welcome return for our vice-captain Temba after his injury and we are also happy to have Rassie back too following his finger injury in England. I am especially excited about our pace attack, which is no doubt growing in stature and strength,” National Convenor of Selectors Victor Mpitsang said in an official statement released by CSA.
“Overall, all the players selected undoubtedly have the ability to play at the highest level, and evidence of that is our standing on the ICC World Test Championship table. We are confident that if they play to their ability, we can challenge Australia in their conditions. We would like to wish the players well for the tour and look forward to an exciting and competitive series,” he added. South Africa Test squad against Australia: Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Gerald Coetzee, Theunis de Bruyn, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne and Khaya Zondo.