South Africa news March 23, 2012

Botha to lead SA against India in one-off T20I

ESPNcricinfo staff

Johan Botha will lead South Africa in the one-off Twenty20 international against India in Johannesburg on March 30 with regular limited-overs captain AB de Villiers and vice-captain Hashim Amla being rested. Farhaan Behardien and Dane Vilas have got first-time call-ups to the 13-man national squad.

The selectors decided to rest the XI playing the ongoing final Test in Wellington against New Zealand as they would reach South Africa just two days before the game against India. Jacques Kallis, who pulled out of the Wellington Test with a stiff neck, was included. "We are leaving all the players out who are involved in the current Test match against New Zealand with the exception of Jacques Kallis for whom there are special circumstances," Andrew Hudson, the convener of selectors, said.

"They will arrive back home two days before the start of the match, having travelled halfway across the world, including a 10-hour time difference, and we don't believe they will be in any condition to play an international game of cricket.

"We have chosen a squad of 13 as there is some doubt about the fitness of Kallis who has been ruled out of the current Test match. The team management needs to have plenty of options available; such is Kallis' all-round value to the side."

Lonwabo Tsotsobe was the only other member of the Test squad in New Zealand to be selected.

"We still have a very strong squad for this important match including the bulk of the players who won the T20 international series in New Zealand," Hudson said. "The players who have been called up for the first time have all done extremely well in the domestic equivalent and this follows our policy of rewarding good domestic form. Behardien and Vilas are currently high up the batting averages for the MiWay T20 Challenge and they also have imposing strike rates."