South Africa news November 21, 2013

Kallis returns to ODI squad


Jacques Kallis has been named in South Africa's ODI squad for the series against Pakistan and India, and will return to the ODI format after an absence of a year and nine months in a bid to book his place for the 2015 World Cup.

After making his intention to play in one more global event known to new coach Russell Domingo over the winter break, Kallis was due to return for the seven-match ODI series against India. However, with India scheduled to play only three ODIs in South Africa, Kallis will also play in the series against Pakistan, ending a hiatus from the fifty-over format that stretches back to February 2012.

Kallis has missed South Africa's last 29 ODIs including an away series against England last June and home matches against New Zealand and Pakistan in the 2012/13 summer. He opted out of the Champions Trophy in June for personal reasons and did not join the team for a limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in August and the Pakistan series in the UAE.

In his absence, all-rounder Ryan McLaren finally found a regular place in the starting XI. McLaren's stocks have steadily risen and he was recently named Man of the Series for his performances in the five-match series against Pakistan.

Andrew Hudson, the convenor of selectors said: "As well as Ryan McLaren and Wayne Parnell have done as emerging allrounders, it is very welcome news to have Jacques back as our premium all-rounder. There is no substitute for the experience he brings to the game." However in spite of this statement, there is no indication yet that McLaren will be sacrificed to make room for Kallis.

Instead, Twenty20 captain Faf du Plessis has been given the axe after a poor run in ODIs over the last few months. Du Plessis has scored just two fifties in his last 20 ODI innings, one of them against the Netherlands.

Being left out has given Du Plessis the time he needed to get married this Saturday, the day before the Pakistan series starts. He was due to return from his honeymoon in time for the third ODI against Pakistan. Despite his own scheduling, the selectors have left him out of both the Pakistan and India series to give him time to find form at franchise level.

Du Plessis will need to find runs in the longest format, because the domestic competitions have moved into first-class mode. That may not be a bad thing for the batsman. With the Tests against India looming and du Plessis having last scored a half-century in whites five Tests ago in January, he could use time in the middle ahead of the home summer.

For Robin Peterson, the snub could signal a little more. Peterson lost his Test place to Imran Tahir in Dubai last month, was left out of the T20 side against Pakistan and has now been overlooked for the ODI squad. Peterson was ineffective in the Abu Dhabi Test but his exclusion has come more as a result of the rebirth of Imran Tahir than any wrongdoing on his part, as Hudson explained.

"We have dropped Robbie Peterson out of the squad as Imran Tahir is in outstanding form and we are unlikely to use more than one specialist spinner in a home series," Hudson said. "He will be able to gain valuable time in the middle playing in the Sunfoil series."

With Peterson still playing first-class cricket, there's every chance he will be considered for the Test at home. However at 34 years, if he is passed by for the next few series, he may look back on this as the beginning of the end.

Although South Africa lose a fair amount of experience with Peterson out of the side, they are balanced by the return of a fit Graeme Smith. The Test captain missed the last three ODIs against Pakistan after suffering from post-concussion syndrome but has fully recovered and was seen having a net with Russell Domingo in Johannesburg. Smith's return means South Africa have choice at the top of the order with both Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock in the squad.

They have similar options in the bowling department with five seamers to pick from, including Vernon Philander, who has been retained after making his ODI comeback in Dubai recently.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • NXT on November 24, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    It's return of the arguably the greatest CRICKETER ever. A cricketer, who can go along for 15 years, scoring tons of runs & taking plenty of wickets when a team needs in both formats. That's KALLIS.

  • Hey on November 23, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    1.Jamshed, 2.Shehzad, 3.Akmal, 4.Maqsood, 5.Ul Haq, 6, Hafeez, 7.Anwar Ali(last chance)8.Bhilwall Bhatti, 9.Afridi(for bowling),10. Ajmal, 11.Khan almost 6 specialist batsmen, 4 spinners, maqsood being part time. 3 pacers, this should do for pak.

  • Dummy4 on November 23, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    I believe Misbah will replace Nasir Jamshed but what good it will be to retain Umer Amin. What has this young lad has contributed so far ? Team should include Ahmed Shahzad, Hafeez, Sohaib, Misbah, Umer Akmal, Nasir Jamshed/Abdul Rehman,Asad Shafiq, Shahid Afridi, Bilawal Bhatti, Junaid and Saeed Ajmal ... 2 seamers + 4 spinners , worth trying

  • Jasmeet on November 23, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    Great opportunity for Kallis to be amongst the top five run scorers in ODIs. Can also improve his average to be in the top 5 list. Still he is arguably the best all-rounder.

  • Harjinder on November 23, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    Good team for Pakistan cricket series but think about M.Morkel He is good fast bowler and will be useful in Australian conditions in WC 2015 but he is always expensive. And mostly wicket less spell .So Kyle Abbott and Richards can be replacement ,,,,how is that? Good luck

  • Sanjay on November 22, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Kallis has always done the business as a bowler but in ODIs, he often unintentionally leads SA to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. I've lost count of the number of times his slow scoring has placed pressure on those who follow him. His failure to bat without fear is the cause given he has all the shots in the book but he keeps them in the locker too often.

    Time is running out for him, it's a good decision to play till WC 2015, he deserves one more go at winning the big one.

  • Gareth on November 22, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    @ZCF: Morris struggled just as much to get into the Lions first XI...

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    Faf should have been dropped from the t20 and test side too. Don't see how his form can be an issue in one of the three formats. Time Stiaan van Zyl and De Kock got a go in tests and Rilee got a chance in the t20 and ODI side. Kallis and Smith back in the ODI squad, though handy, is a regression. What happened to broadening the talent pool? Wiese and Davids continue to be sidelined but are likely to make the world cup team. This makes no sense. What is the point of selecting players that you don't believe in?

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Best palying 11: 1. Smith 2. De Kock 3. Amla 4. Kallis 5. De Villiers 6. Duminy 7. Mclaren 8. Philander 9. Steyn 10. Tsotsobe 11. Tahir. This is definately the best playing 11 that could win the 2014 WC. Theres enough experience and quality players in this squad. A lot of negative comments going around about Smith and Kallis but they are quality players and their abscense id the main reason for the proteas poor ODI form. We need these steady heads in order to win

  • ZCF on November 22, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    @SurlyMan, Eddie's Leie's a top talent. I've only seen him a couple of times live, but that was last year against modest batsmen whom he duly feasted on. But I'd rather take the more cautious approach and back young Siya Simetu for international honours(Test&ODI) within 3 seasons. Eddie would get mauled at international level. Far from polished enough at his art. But there's no denying that for someone of his rare talent&quality, he should've been a seasoned franchise cricket veteran by now were it not for the kind of entrenched things Arendse&Co are belatedly trying to address via extremely weak&liberal policies now.

    The Pakistan gods must've been upset with Misbah&Co because Smith&AB were by far the luckiest man alive on that day. Tahir had enough quality&experience to come good at some point, which he did(like part-timerJP) on a flat spinners' paradise designed to secure a draw for Pakistan a series win. Alviro will remain the greatest leader to have never captained the Proteas.