With a view to proving his fitness for the Tests against England which begin in July, Dale Steyn has been named in the South Africa A four-day squad that tours England before the series.
Steyn has been out of action since November when he injured his shoulder in the first Test against Australia in Perth. He has been building up his rehabilitation programme in the early part of the year and the plan is for him to be available for two of the three four-day matches South Africa A play in June.
If he comes through those matches he would put himself in the frame for a spot in the Test squad for the four-match series against England which begins on July 6 at Lord's. Steyn is five wickets away from overtaking Shaun Pollock as South Africa's leading Test wicket-taker.
"The shoulder rehabilitation has been good. It feels stronger every week," he told Supersport ahead of the squad being named. "I want to play cricket for South Africa. I am nearly ready."
The A squad for the four-day matches will be captained by the highly-rated Titans batsman Aiden Markram while Khaya Zondo, who captains Dolphins, will lead the one-day side. Temba Bavuma, who will be part of the full Test squad, is included in both the one-day and four-day squads along with the recently capped Duanne Olivier, Lungi Ngidi and Theunis de Bruyn.
"The four-day series will give us an opportunity to see how some of the players who are on the fringes of the Test squad perform in England ahead of the four-test series," Linda Zondi, the convener of selectors, said. "We still have time to finalise the Test team so that series can give us some pointers before we finalise the Test squad."
South Africa A one-day squad Khaya Zondo (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Jon Jon Smuts, Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, , Heino Kuhn, Dwaine Pretorius, Mangaliso Mosehle, Sisanda Magala, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Junior Dala, Dane Paterson
South Africa A four-day squad Heino Kuhn, Aiden Markram (capt), Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Khaya Zondo, Jason Smith, Heinrich Klaasen, Dwaine Pretorius, Rudi Second, Dane Piedt, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Paterson, Duanne Olivier, Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks, Dale Steyn