South Africa in New Zealand 2011-12 January 25, 2012

Justin Ontong recalled to limited-overs squads

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Justin Ontong, the Cape Cobras allrounder, has been included in South Africa's squads for the one-day and Twenty20 international series in New Zealand in February. Graeme Smith has been left out of the Twenty20 side, and another Cobras batsman Richard Levi will open with Hashim Amla in the format. JP Duminy was chosen ahead of Ashwell Prince in the Test squad, which also includes Robin Peterson in place of Paul Harris.

Marchant de Lange, who took seven wickets in an innings on Test debut against Sri Lanka, was selected for his first tour and was named in the Test and T20 squads. Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn were rested for the Twenty20 series.

Ontong hasn't been part of a South Africa squad since the 2009 World Twenty20 in England, where he did not play a game. The last time he played for the country was in March 2009, a T20 match against Australia. However, Ontong averaged 72 in this season's 1-Day Cup, South Africa's List A competition, and 76 in the SuperSport Series, the first-class tournament. He played some crucial knocks in the 1-Day Cup, with his three half-centuries all coming at close to a run a ball, and he helped take the Cobras over the line in the final with an unbeaten 37 off 28 balls.

"Ontong fully deserves this latest call-up," Andrew Hudson, Cricket South Africa's selection convener, said. "He has shown outstanding domestic form this season and I believe he has developed into a more mature cricketer. His finishing ability was a key factor in the Cobras' success in winning the 1-Day Cup.

"He is the complete limited-overs package, being a fine batsman who will strengthen our fielding disciplines and also give us another bowling option.

"We have decided to try out some exciting new options in the T20 squad such as Levi, Ontong and de Lange. There are only 11 matches left in this format before we travel to Sri Lanka for the ICC World Twenty20 and this is really the last chance to explore the talent we have at our disposal. Having AB de Villiers fit again for T20 action also gives us a lot more flexibility and better balance."

South Africa will play three Twenty20s in New Zealand, five against Zimbabwe at home and three more in England before the World Twenty20. An ICC trophy is the one thing noticeable by its absence in the South African cabinet and one of coach Gary Kirsten's foremost priorities is to change that.

Smith's exclusion from the squad suggests he is not in the plans for the World Twenty20. Instead, it looks like Levi, who made an impression at last year's Champions League T20 and was the third highest run-scorer in the 2010-11 Pro20 competition, will be groomed. Rusty Theron, who is renowned for his death bowling, has also been given another chance.

Albie Morkel keeps his place in the limited-overs squad. He was not included in the original squad for the ODIs against Sri Lanka, but was called up as a replacement for Dean Elgar ahead of the first ODI. He was only required to score quick runs down the order and did not take any wickets in the series.

Rory Kleinveldt and Elgar, who were both selected for the ODI series against Sri Lanka, were not considered because of injury. Kleinveldt did not play in the series and sustained a quadricep injury after the first match in Paarl. Elgar hurt his knee in the field in a SuperSport Series match and was forced to withdraw from the squad before the series started.

Twenty20 squad: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla (vc), Johan Botha, Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Colin Ingram, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Rusty Theron, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Trone on January 28, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    funny thing is that Smith is the only South African in the top ten of the ICC T20 rankings

  • Shongololo on January 27, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    A whiff, Robster1? More like an overpowering stench.

    Robin Peterson personifies the quota system, to select him to a Test squad is just ludicrous and can only be on quota grounds. He's ordinary, always has been and is perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the quota system in SA cricket. Can't see the merit in the Ontong selection either, especially when someone like Johan Botha is a better batsman, bowler and tactical thinker than these two.

    Moreover, our persistence with Boucher will cost us as his glovework is shabby, his batting 'hit and miss'. He's so far beyond his sell by date that there's also a rather nasty stench coming from behind the stumps.

    All in all, a pretty ordinary job by Hudson and co. No surprises though, just more of the same (and all the while living in dreamland about being no 1 in all forms, winning international competition...you have to select the best to even have a chance of achieving that, dodos...).

  • winwin5 on January 26, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    I hope they rested Smith rathar than dropping, what Smith has done after 2003 world cup debacle to soucth african cricket at the tender age of 22 years, No one should forget, I always thought he belongs to 10000 runs ODI and test batsman.

  • 9ST9 on January 26, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    @Pablo123 - Yes this will reduce workload on the international players and give more players international exposure and it seems we are slowly moving towards this trend with Aus clearly looking to create a seperate T20 squad.

  • Pablo123 on January 26, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    I believe that international T20 sides should be specialist, kind like a rugby 7's side. This would be my SA T20 side: Loots Bosman, Herchelle Gibbs, Richard Levi, Faf Du Plessis, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, AB De Villiers, JP Duminy, Davie Jacobs, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn

  • Marktc on January 26, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    I do not understand the Gibb's frenzy. He was one of our most gifted players without a doubt, but he also was one of the less predictable. He was never that consistent either. One inning he would tear apart the bowlers, then he would get a string of low scores. I am not sure he will make it on merit at this stage with our already shaky batting line up. As for Boucher- they should use De Kock for the T20 and give him some one day action while he is Boucher's understudy. Allow him some international experience. Marchant in the T20 is also a bit of a gamble ass he is still unrefined and he could be torn apart for making mistakes, as brilliant a prospect as he is. Think Robin Peterson's batting tipped the scales between him and Harris. Johan Botha is very unlucky not to be in the OD side, as he is a pretty aggressive batsman down the order. All in all, it is a good side though and should on paper beat the NZ guys.

  • Geeva on January 26, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    I am surprised that Duminy is the back-up batsmen for the tests!He needs to go back to first class cricket to prove himslf!jus like rudolph and alviro petersen has done!The selectors have no justification to return him to the test squad!I am sure England will expose Duminys batting weaknesess!!

  • anver777 on January 26, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Good pick....hope will continue the same form in international arena !!!!!!!

  • on January 26, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    @duncanmoo Totally agree wit you man. AB shouldnt be the one with the gloves. And the irony is that he is next in line for tests as well..

  • on January 26, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    Kaleem u seem to be an Indian Cricket fan and haven't watched too many SA games to realise that how many times Duminy has rescued SA, when he gets set he hits the ball the farthest, even more than Albie, he is an automatic selection, and if you judge a batsman by his average, then brother he has an average of 41. Ingram not there is a good thing for him, he wasn't feeling confident, maybe he is the one for future. But to those advocating Dane Vilas, he is not keeping that well, Quinton de Kock is the future and I can bet my house on it, he is the next Gilchrist in the making who will play for SA. A hard hitting left handed batsmen who bats in the top order and is also being considered a captaincy material. I cant wait to see him in GOLD & GREEN.

  • Trone on January 28, 2012, 2:40 GMT

    funny thing is that Smith is the only South African in the top ten of the ICC T20 rankings

  • Shongololo on January 27, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    A whiff, Robster1? More like an overpowering stench.

    Robin Peterson personifies the quota system, to select him to a Test squad is just ludicrous and can only be on quota grounds. He's ordinary, always has been and is perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the quota system in SA cricket. Can't see the merit in the Ontong selection either, especially when someone like Johan Botha is a better batsman, bowler and tactical thinker than these two.

    Moreover, our persistence with Boucher will cost us as his glovework is shabby, his batting 'hit and miss'. He's so far beyond his sell by date that there's also a rather nasty stench coming from behind the stumps.

    All in all, a pretty ordinary job by Hudson and co. No surprises though, just more of the same (and all the while living in dreamland about being no 1 in all forms, winning international competition...you have to select the best to even have a chance of achieving that, dodos...).

  • winwin5 on January 26, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    I hope they rested Smith rathar than dropping, what Smith has done after 2003 world cup debacle to soucth african cricket at the tender age of 22 years, No one should forget, I always thought he belongs to 10000 runs ODI and test batsman.

  • 9ST9 on January 26, 2012, 14:09 GMT

    @Pablo123 - Yes this will reduce workload on the international players and give more players international exposure and it seems we are slowly moving towards this trend with Aus clearly looking to create a seperate T20 squad.

  • Pablo123 on January 26, 2012, 12:24 GMT

    I believe that international T20 sides should be specialist, kind like a rugby 7's side. This would be my SA T20 side: Loots Bosman, Herchelle Gibbs, Richard Levi, Faf Du Plessis, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, AB De Villiers, JP Duminy, Davie Jacobs, Wayne Parnell, Dale Steyn

  • Marktc on January 26, 2012, 9:54 GMT

    I do not understand the Gibb's frenzy. He was one of our most gifted players without a doubt, but he also was one of the less predictable. He was never that consistent either. One inning he would tear apart the bowlers, then he would get a string of low scores. I am not sure he will make it on merit at this stage with our already shaky batting line up. As for Boucher- they should use De Kock for the T20 and give him some one day action while he is Boucher's understudy. Allow him some international experience. Marchant in the T20 is also a bit of a gamble ass he is still unrefined and he could be torn apart for making mistakes, as brilliant a prospect as he is. Think Robin Peterson's batting tipped the scales between him and Harris. Johan Botha is very unlucky not to be in the OD side, as he is a pretty aggressive batsman down the order. All in all, it is a good side though and should on paper beat the NZ guys.

  • Geeva on January 26, 2012, 9:31 GMT

    I am surprised that Duminy is the back-up batsmen for the tests!He needs to go back to first class cricket to prove himslf!jus like rudolph and alviro petersen has done!The selectors have no justification to return him to the test squad!I am sure England will expose Duminys batting weaknesess!!

  • anver777 on January 26, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Good pick....hope will continue the same form in international arena !!!!!!!

  • on January 26, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    @duncanmoo Totally agree wit you man. AB shouldnt be the one with the gloves. And the irony is that he is next in line for tests as well..

  • on January 26, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    Kaleem u seem to be an Indian Cricket fan and haven't watched too many SA games to realise that how many times Duminy has rescued SA, when he gets set he hits the ball the farthest, even more than Albie, he is an automatic selection, and if you judge a batsman by his average, then brother he has an average of 41. Ingram not there is a good thing for him, he wasn't feeling confident, maybe he is the one for future. But to those advocating Dane Vilas, he is not keeping that well, Quinton de Kock is the future and I can bet my house on it, he is the next Gilchrist in the making who will play for SA. A hard hitting left handed batsmen who bats in the top order and is also being considered a captaincy material. I cant wait to see him in GOLD & GREEN.

  • Hareendra on January 26, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Good to see Johan Botha back in the scheme of things. But what happened to David Miller? He is so young and full of promise.

  • on January 25, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    DUMINIY AND INGRAM SHOULDN'T B IN THE SIDE ... THEY SHOULD HAVE SELECTED SOME AGGRESIVE PLAYERS AS COMPARE TO THEM .... AND I APPRECIATE GREAT DECIOSION OF DROPPING SMITH ...

  • duncanmoo on January 25, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    Please people stop banging on about Gibbs, there is so much bad blood there he will never get selected again, just forget it. AB should only have gloves on in 20/20, I am certain he is going to take strain eventually. Smith out, sorry for the guy, but some club cricket would do him good.

  • jonesy2 on January 25, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    is gibbs retired? because his batting for my scorchers was pretty awesome, him and marcus north are a brilliant partnership, he could have to same affectiveness with amla.

  • on January 25, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    Decent selection, but I honestly don't understand why Wayne Parnell is included in any squad, regardless of format.

  • on January 25, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    Ontong? Really, they are going there again? Sorry but he's failed miserably every time he's been given a chance at international level. Elgar, McLaren or even Frylinck should be there instead.

  • Robster1 on January 25, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    No bad selections in general, but again there is sadly a whiff of quotas in these squads. That should be something in SA's past. Robin Petersen in the test squad - you must be joking as he's a thirtysomething with a dreadful test record. And Ontong will never be an international player, more so at his age as well. Paul Harris is most unlucky to miss out on the test squad. And what's happened to David Miller who looked good against the Aussies ?

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    And why is R. Piterson in all three formats, while tahir is in just one and botha in none!!! Tahir is the better spinner and botha a better allrounder. And Gibbs?? did he retire?? if not, why isnt he here?? SA selection panel needs to stop being stonned all the times.

  • tshepo27 on January 25, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    The management don't want 2c South Africa win.

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    Merit, and not age, should be the only consideration. Rudolph, for example, has been one of the top 2 batsmen in both formats domestically in two countries for the past 4 years. There should be no question. He is, in fact, now a one-day cricket specialist and should be in there. 30 is not old in quality cricket. In general the selectors have done a fine job but the inclusion of Robin Peterson in the test squad makes no sense. He excels in the shorter form but is clearly not a test player. Botha's been a fixture in the team without performing except in Australia. He is surely selected on class but in the test arena the fear is still that his doosra will be no-balled on the first day leaving us spinner-less for 4 days of the test. I guess Boucher will be around all the time despite not being in the team, which makes him the back-up keeper. The greatest worry of this squad is the continuing expensive failure of the development programme to deliver enough quota players of quality.

  • Gordo85 on January 25, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    Xolile I fully agree with you. It is best to give the gloves to someone Quinton de Kock's age because he will be able to keep going for years and years. He has shown he is pretty close to being ready recently. From mind I think Boucher started out at a pretty young age as well in the international side? The only thing I can say is if Quinton de Kock does get it I would really love it if Dane Vilas would be a second choice due to the fact he will be around for some years also. But I agree about the other keepers there is no point picking any of the others because they are all in there 30s I think and Tsolekile is a great keeper but now he is too old also. This is why I love Cricket South Africa because when I have a thought of a selection happening with in a certain time they have picked someone I have been watching progress and do very well and that is Justin Ontong. A great selection South Africa I am so happy. It shows you get picked on performances of doing well domesticly.

  • on January 25, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    whats happened to Loots Bosman?

  • AB_DeVilliers on January 25, 2012, 14:13 GMT

    I'm suprised to see no Dane Villas in any of the squads. His maybe not your typical T20 player, but in the ODI and Test squads I see him playing a role in the future. He should be ear-marked as Bouchers successor now already, as I don't believe De Villiers will take the gloves in Test Cricket going forward. His double hundred in as many balls a few games ago in domestic cricket was the best domestic knock since Amla's in 2005. Not to mention his 180 a few weeks before that - churning out the runs. He's glovework is exemplary too. @Xolile - who is Quinton de Kock? Better than Dane?

  • hashabjp on January 25, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    Now the major question why and why and why MARK BOUCHER.... CSA is adamant about loosing series to new zealand and england. They can give chances to 30 yr olds and not Dane Vilas .. The guy is bundle of talent and i would include him in 20-20, ODI and Test and give AB a break... Dane Vilas need his chances.... Also why ignore JOHAN BOTHA and pick ROBIN PETERSON ahead of him .... definitely quota system at full play. Even as a common man watching both play i would pick JOHAN BOTHA even in my dreams. Common GARY i thought you were a reasonable man. I am kinda loosing faith in your tactics.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    where the hell is gibbs did hudson not watch de big bash and ontong is not gud enough people

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Jacques Rudolph should be in odi squad instead of Ontong, Justin Ontong is not international quality

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Why no Harris in test squad instead of Peterson? Gibbs in T20 would have been good considering his current form. Good to see Botha in ODIs and Theron in T20. I dont know what Rudolf/Bouchar did differently than Prince to keep them in the test team. Overall, as always, SA looks good team but never 'the No. 1' team in the world.

  • Hrit24 on January 25, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Graeme Smith is such a good player! He scored a half-century, then a ton against Sri Lanka, he has played so brilliantly for SA, and he is dropped! I appreciate Ontong had a brilliant performance this season and merited a call-up, but at the expense of Smith?

  • tshepo27 on January 25, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Sometimes I fail 2understand de South African management. Justin is now apparently a G8 finisher while all along against we had no such. It's de same comment was made about Albie Morkel. If they a such so G8 players Y a dey only selected later or after another gets injured.

  • anuajm on January 25, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    @TWIC - Ross Taylor is the captain of NZ and not Vettori.

    Strange team selection by SA..Surprised that Theron is not in the ODI team specially with their woes against SA. Great to see Albie back to where he belongs.. He needs to be managed properly..I guess they really see a lot of potential in Peterson and want to give him ample oppurtunities. But surely Botha is getting a raw deal.. He was surely going to captain SA until Tahir arrived. Now he is not even the second choice spinner, and that too when he has really developed as a bowler.. On the other hand, Tahir with fabolous performances in the World Cup, is not getting a place in ODI team!! Strange!! Somehow i feel that the 'Tahir bubble' will burst sooner than later!!

  • BellCurve on January 25, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Boucher lives on! Good choice. Quinton de Kock should be ready to take over 12 -18 months from now. There is no point in handing over the gloves to Kuhn, Vilas or Tsolekile in the interim.

  • bestbuddy on January 25, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    While I appreciate that Ontong has performed admirably this season, he has been given numerous opportunities in the past and failed to take them. The same can be said of Robin Peterson. Both are now in their 30's, to go with the recent recalls of other 30+ year olds in Petersen and Rudolph. While I dont have an issue with age per say, if we are not careful we will end up in the same boat as Aus did a couple years ago, and india are finding themselves in now, when too many quality players are retiring/about to retire. If we are indeed planning for the next world cup then the squad should reflect that and only include players who will potentially be at their peak in three and a half years time. We have also picked no backup keeper in ANY squad despite Bouchers continued poor form

  • on January 25, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    I didnt see Gibbs name in the T20 squad, surely he must have been considered

  • TWIC on January 25, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    How does Robin Peterson make the test squad and not Botha? What is the point in taking one of the most overrated spinners in South Africa and play him against a team captained by one of the world's best left-arm spinners?

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  • TWIC on January 25, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    How does Robin Peterson make the test squad and not Botha? What is the point in taking one of the most overrated spinners in South Africa and play him against a team captained by one of the world's best left-arm spinners?

  • on January 25, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    I didnt see Gibbs name in the T20 squad, surely he must have been considered

  • bestbuddy on January 25, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    While I appreciate that Ontong has performed admirably this season, he has been given numerous opportunities in the past and failed to take them. The same can be said of Robin Peterson. Both are now in their 30's, to go with the recent recalls of other 30+ year olds in Petersen and Rudolph. While I dont have an issue with age per say, if we are not careful we will end up in the same boat as Aus did a couple years ago, and india are finding themselves in now, when too many quality players are retiring/about to retire. If we are indeed planning for the next world cup then the squad should reflect that and only include players who will potentially be at their peak in three and a half years time. We have also picked no backup keeper in ANY squad despite Bouchers continued poor form

  • BellCurve on January 25, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Boucher lives on! Good choice. Quinton de Kock should be ready to take over 12 -18 months from now. There is no point in handing over the gloves to Kuhn, Vilas or Tsolekile in the interim.

  • anuajm on January 25, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    @TWIC - Ross Taylor is the captain of NZ and not Vettori.

    Strange team selection by SA..Surprised that Theron is not in the ODI team specially with their woes against SA. Great to see Albie back to where he belongs.. He needs to be managed properly..I guess they really see a lot of potential in Peterson and want to give him ample oppurtunities. But surely Botha is getting a raw deal.. He was surely going to captain SA until Tahir arrived. Now he is not even the second choice spinner, and that too when he has really developed as a bowler.. On the other hand, Tahir with fabolous performances in the World Cup, is not getting a place in ODI team!! Strange!! Somehow i feel that the 'Tahir bubble' will burst sooner than later!!

  • tshepo27 on January 25, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    Sometimes I fail 2understand de South African management. Justin is now apparently a G8 finisher while all along against we had no such. It's de same comment was made about Albie Morkel. If they a such so G8 players Y a dey only selected later or after another gets injured.

  • Hrit24 on January 25, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Graeme Smith is such a good player! He scored a half-century, then a ton against Sri Lanka, he has played so brilliantly for SA, and he is dropped! I appreciate Ontong had a brilliant performance this season and merited a call-up, but at the expense of Smith?

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    Why no Harris in test squad instead of Peterson? Gibbs in T20 would have been good considering his current form. Good to see Botha in ODIs and Theron in T20. I dont know what Rudolf/Bouchar did differently than Prince to keep them in the test team. Overall, as always, SA looks good team but never 'the No. 1' team in the world.

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Jacques Rudolph should be in odi squad instead of Ontong, Justin Ontong is not international quality

  • on January 25, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    where the hell is gibbs did hudson not watch de big bash and ontong is not gud enough people