Theron, Kleinveldt in South Africa World T20 squad
Medium-pace bowler Juan Theron is the only uncapped player in South Africa's 15-member squad for the ICC World Twenty20 tournament. The squad also marks a return for Cape Cobras' Rory Kleinveldt, who last played for South Africa in a Twenty20 match against Bangladesh in 2008.
Graeme Smith, who was forced to return home from the IPL after sustaining a finger injury, has recovered and will lead the team. However, Wayne Parnell and Justin Kemp, who also picked up injuries during the tournament, were not considered for selection. Parnell was impressive as one of the frontline bowlers during South Africa's semi-final run in the 2009 edition of the tournament.
With a domestic Twenty20 average of 21.32 and a creditable economy rate of 6.47, over 26 matches, Theron has gained the reputation of a specialist in the shortest format. His impressive performance won him an IPL contract, where he turned in a match-winning performance on his debut for Kings XI Punjab, against Chennai Super Kings. He is not an express-quick bowler, and thrives on keeping it full and slipping in the odd slower ball.
Kleinveldt boasts of a batting average of 13.72, and a bowling average of 28.40, across 51 domestic Twenty20 apperances. He was a member of South Africa's Under-19 team which made the final of the 2002 World Cup, but could break into the senior team only in 2008. He had a forgettable debut, scoring three runs and conceding 20 in his only over.
"I am delighted that we have Graeme Smith back from injury to lead us in this campaign. At the same time it is sad to lose players of the calibre of Wayne Parnell and Justin Kemp." Corrie van Zyl, coach of the national side, said. van Zyl was however happy with the two replacements.
"Rory Kleinveldt will be a good like-for-like replacement for Parnell. He is capable of opening the bowling or operating at first change and he has also been a regular death bowler for the Cobras which is an important area for us. Rory also gives us some good batting options down the order," van Zyl said.
"Rusty Theron has impressed everybody both with his skills and his temperament both in domestic cricket and in the Indian Premier League. He was a key player for the Warriors in doing the domestic limited overs double," Van Zyl said.
South Africa will play warm-up games against Sri Lanka England, both at the Kensington Oval, before beginning their campaign against India in St. Lucia on May 2 and Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval on May 5.
Squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Jacques Kallis (vice-capt), Loots Bosman, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Rory Kleinveldt, Charl Langeveldt, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Juan Theron, Roelof van der Merwe.