South Africa include Shamsi in ODI squad
Chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi's summer of success has reached its dream conclusion. After being the leading spinner in South Africa's first-class competition and earning his first IPL contract, Shamsi has received a maiden call-up to the national side.
He is one of three spinners included in the ODI squad to play a triangular series in the Caribbean in June. Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso complete the spin-bowling contingent.
South Africa have also recalled Wayne Parnell, who last played international cricket in July 2015 and has not played ODIs since last year's World Cup. Parnell is one of two allrounders alongside Chris Morris, and joins Morne Morkel, Kyle Abbott and Kagiso Rabada as one of five frontline quicks.
Neither Dale Steyn nor Vernon Philander were picked with Steyn rested ahead of the home Tests against New Zealand in August and Philander not considered despite making a return from injury. David Miller, David Wiese and Marchant de Lange, who were part of South Africa's ODI squad that took on England earlier this year, were dropped.
Shamsi's inclusion came on the back of T20 performances, rather than fifty-over efforts, and prior experience in West Indies. Shamsi played in last year's CPL and was the joint fifth-highest wicket-taker with 11 scalps at 13.27. He was also part of the Titans team that won the South African domestic T20 competition and was their fourth-highest wicket taker with nine scalps at 26.88. Currently with the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the IPL, Shamsi has played four matches and taken three wickets. They were three big ones too: David Warner, Brendon McCullum and Ajinkya Rahane.
"He has shown what he can do in the T20 leagues against international batsmen," Linda Zondi, South Africa's convener of selectors said, while also outlining South Africa's selection approach to the series. "We have opted for three specialist spinners as we anticipate the pitches in the Caribbean to be on the slow side."
That was also the reason South Africa are not rushing Steyn back after he missed six out of eight Tests last summer. Although he is at the IPL and will play in the CPL, Steyn's absence from ODI cricket will raise questions.
"In the short term our immediate focus must be to get back among the top-ranked Test nations and for this reason we are resting Dale Steyn for this tour," Zondi said. "He is vital to our ambitions in the longest format and he is going to have a heavy workload in the months ahead. He is certainly not out of the ODI picture and could well feature in the home series against Australia later this year."
Instead Morkel, who was left out of the World T20 and was rumoured to be considering his limited-overs future, will lead the attack. Philander may have been hoping that responsibility would fall on him, but after sitting out all but the last two weeks of the South African season with ankle ligament tears, he will have to wait to regain his place.
So Parnell got the nod. He finished the domestic one-day cup as the third-highest wicket-taker with 16 wickets at 23.00 and has the chance to stake a claim for a regular spot. "Wayne has the ability to become a quality allrounder for us and, like Tabraiz, he is being rewarded for outstanding domestic form," Zondi said.
South Africa's batting line-up had a more familiar look to it with the inclusion of Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis, who is nursing a finger injury. Du Plessis broke the ring finger on his left hand at the IPL and underwent surgery on Tuesday. He needs four to five weeks to make a full recovery and has been ruled out of the first game of the series.
That will likely provide an opportunity for both Rilee Rossouw and Farhaan Behardien early on, but the pair are likely to compete for a place in the top six once du Plessis recovers.
Miller played his last ODI in October 2015. He was in the squad for the home series against England, but did not get a game. Now that he has been dropped for the West Indies tour, it appears he will have to find form in domestic competition to be reconsidered.
The Caribbean tri-series, which also features Australia, starts on June 3.
South Africa squad: AB de Villiers (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent