Imran Tahir makes SA's one-day squad
Imran Tahir, the Pakistan-born legspinner who was recently granted South African citizenship, is one of two debutants named in South Africa's 14-man squad to play India in their five-match ODI series.
Titans allrounder Faf du Plessis is the other new cap, while Jacques Kallis was not considered because of an injury sustained to his rib during the current Test series and Mark Boucher remains out of South Africa's limited-overs plans.
South Africa have picked five spinners in their squad in preparation for the World Cup in the subcontinent which starts in February. Tahir and du Plessis join Johan Botha, JP Duminy and Robin Peterson to form an arsenal of slower bowling.
"Faf du Plessis has grabbed his opportunity this season as Colin Ingram did the previous season," said convener of selectors Andrew Hudson. "Both he and Tahir had outstanding campaigns in the MTN40 and we are looking forward to see how they take their game up to the next level."
Tahir's name has been linked with national selection since January last year when he was picked in South Africa's Test squad to face England in the fourth Test. However, he was found to be ineligible to play for South Africa because he did not have the required residency permit, despite being married to a South African.
Cricket South Africa intervened to speed up the process but Tahir only qualified to play for the national team almost a year later, on New Year's Day 2011.
A wrist spinner is perhaps the one missing element in South Africa's bowling attack and Tahir was widely touted as the man to fill the role. He has taken 15 wickets at an average of 17.00 in nine matches in the MTN40 competition this season and in his 96 List A appearances has 140 scalps at an average of 22.74.
He has also had successful stints at Hampshire and Warwickshire in English domestic limited-overs cricket. He is not part of South African's 30-man provisional World Cup squad but his selection for the India series is an indication that may change.
Du Plessis, who is part of the provisional World Cup squad, earns his maiden call-up after a sensational MTN40 campaign in which he scored 567 runs, including three centuries, and boasted an average of 81. He is also a handy leg-break bowler and athletic fielder.
The five match series is South Africa's last outing before the Word Cup. The first match will be played in Durban on Wednesday.
South Africa ODI squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Imran Tahir, Lonwabo Tsotsobe