Botha returns to South Africa squad for India Tests
Offspinner Johan Botha has been named in South Africa's squad for the two Tests against India next month, marking his return after the 2008 tour of Bangladesh. Another notable inclusion in the 15-man team was left-arm fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe, who was part of the touring party to Australia last year.
There was no place for fast bowlers Makhaya Ntini and Friedel de Wet, both of whom had been part of the recently concluded home Test series against England.
"It is important to have a second specialist spin bowling option for a Test series on the subcontinent," Mike Procter, Cricket South Africa's (CSA's) selection convener, said. "We feel this squad covers all our tactical options and will give a good account of itself."
For the three ODIs that follow, the selectors have picked opener Loots Bosman after his impressive performances during the two Twenty20 internationals against England, where he hit 58 and 94. It was during his second knock, at Centurion, that he also shared a world-record opening partnership of 170 with captain Graeme Smith.
Having returned to full fitness this summer after a succession of injuries, Bosman would provide "an explosive hitting option up front", according to Procter. "This will be the ideal opportunity for him to show his worth on the subcontinent where next year's World Cup will be played," Procter said.
Herschelle Gibbs was also included in the 15-man ODI squad, returning to the national team since the 2009 World Twenty20 in England.
However, Hashim Amla, Ryan McLaren and Charl Langeveldt failed to make the cut for the one-day squad, from the one that took on England. Procter indicated, though, that the trio were still "in the running for the World Cup next year."
While Nagpur will host the first Test from February 6-10, the second will be played in Kolkata from February 14-18. The three ODIs will be hosted by Jaipur, Kanpur and Ahmedabad on February 21, 24 and 27 respectively.
Test squad Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Ashwell Prince, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
ODI squad Graeme Smith (capt), Loots Bosman, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Roelof van der Merwe.