Zimbabwe tri-series 2014 August 21, 2014

Steyn and Morkel recalled for tri-series

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Africa have named a strong squad for the ODI tri-series in Zimbabwe, which also involves Australia, bringing back their premier fast bowlers, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

Vernon Philander's attempt to claim a permanent place in the ODI team suffered a setback as he was ruled out of the series with a hamstring injury. Fast bowler Beuran Hendricks also missed out due to a back problem. The injuries mean quick bowlers Kyle Abbott and Mthokozisi Shezi retained their places in the squad.

"Kyle impressed in the three matches he played against Zimbabwe while Mthokozisi, who also did well on his debut today, is a like-for-like replacement for Beuran," Andrew Hudson, the CSA selection chief, said. "It was also pleasing to see Marchant de Lange resume his international career so well after a lengthy injury break and he underlines the tremendous depth we have to our fast bowling resources at the moment."

The tri-series starts on August 25, and South Africa play their first match against Australia in Harare on August 27.

Squad: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla (vc), Kyle Abbott , Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee Rossouw, Mthokozisi Shezi, Dale Steyn

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  • greig on August 23, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    Guys, please relax. Shezi is a different kind of bowler to styen, morkel and de Lange. He competes against Philander, Hendricks, Parnell and Mclaren. And to be honest, I rather have Shezi there an Parnell who as we all should know by now has gifted against away from us with poor death bowling when it counts. Parnell is a perennial BMT failure.

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2014, 20:17 GMT

    It's strange that Shezi retains his place, when the explanation is they kept him, because it's like for like, yet Sa already have a left arm bowler in Parnel... Question is would we really need another left arm bowler that bowls low to mid 130km/ph and is obviously very inexperienced at the moment. Which leads me to think that there is only one spot available for the WC between Shezi and Hendricks. They wont take both. I would argue that because the WC is in Aus and ZN, where there are very quick pitches, we should take our quickest available players. Steyn, Morkel, De lange, Viljoen, Morris are the quickest men in Sa at the moment. Most them are capable of reaching 150Km/ph. Now I'm not saying all of them should play at the same time, because you need to look at the balance of the side, variation of the attack and the form of the bowler. But odds are 3 of them will fire at the same time. With Mclaren holding one end and then your spinner. I would not want to bat!!

  • Peter on August 22, 2014, 19:55 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast. As a regular spectator of Shield matches, I probably agree with most of your posts. Batting has and is still an issue with regards to top quality batsmen. There are plenty about in the middle range, but definitely lacking at the top of the totem pole. You mentioned Copeland, a bowler IMHO, wouldn't rate among the top 10 or 12 in Australia but in England & the SC I would put him in the top 3. He had an outstanding season in county in 2013 & his performances in Sri Lanka on dry spinning tracks was superior to all the quicks, reflected by his performances on pitches, down here, that do tend to lose their juices. Marsh, btw, has immense talent, but is his own worst enemy, perhaps is recent performances have shown a new found maturity?

  • Peter on August 22, 2014, 19:48 GMT

    @JohannK. Many thanks. Try as I can, there is limited information coming out from Zimbabwe so appreciate the response. Agree with you re: pitches, but I think every cricket follower would like to see Zimbabwe return as a competitive force so these series are a benefit for that purpose. I wouldn't take too much away from results of this series as a pointer to the WC. Your pitches, mostly, reflect what you are going to encounter down here, so there should be minimal adjustment when compared to other countries. Cheers.

  • ZCF on August 22, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    Slow wickets for Australia? The presence of Mackay, Watson, Faulkner&Cutting, plus consideration of Michell Marsh, alongside existing spinners/part-timers Lyon, Doherty, Maxwell&Smith begs to differ. Its rather misleading to imply Australia would prepare fast pitches just to suit Johnson. Johnson will be fast regardless of the pitch. Starc relies more on swing through the air than pace, just like Steyn. Richardson unproven. The fact of the matter is due to the dearth of quality batsmen, Australia's policy has been to change the pitches in order to give their batsmen a chance. The days of a Trent Copeland/Peter George ripping through Shield cricket to earn a Test slot are long gone. Perhaps Shaun Marsh now has a chance to give his FC record a bit of respectability and Peter Forrest might just be an international cricketer once more. NZ pitches are bound to favour pace because that's their strength, but apart from 1 or 2 grounds AUS pitches will have something for everyone. So Shezi ok!!

  • Sathesh Krishnan on August 22, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    The best XI for SA would be De Kock, Amla, Faf, AB, JP, Miller, McLaren, Steyn, Morkel, De Lange, Tahir. Abbott, Philander, Piedt and Roussow can be reserves that make the 15 member squad. This is their best chance of giving a shot at world tournaments.

  • M S on August 22, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    It will b very GUD protean squad.. Kudos!!!

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    De Lange can't bat despite being the most threatening with the ball of the new talent.

  • Johann on August 22, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Vern is going to struggle against the best teams if he is part of the WC team in Aus. His bowling skills are more suited to test cricket. (he might do well with the bat, though!) De Lange is a MUST for the WC. Pace and bounce are critical in Aus conditions.

    Much as one would like Shezi to be successful, he is a rookie and at his pace on the Aus wickets he would be cannon fodder. He might actually do well in Zim due to the slow nature of the pitches, but it would be a mistake to select him on this basis. Tthat just comes back to my point about "having a look at players" in conditions that do not reflect what will be encountered at the WC. Don't forget Aus will prepare pitches that suit their best bowlers - all of whom are fast bowlers.

  • Dummy4 on August 22, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Philander has had a phenomenal start to his Test career, and it seemed too good to be true. Which it was. He has not looked threatening of late, and you can't expect Steyn to do it all when Morkel is just banging in short balls and not doing much else. We DO need holding bowlers (if Shezi fits the bill, then so be it - he did seem tough to get away against Zim... but will need to prove himself against better opposition) like ADienst says, but that is only ever effective if you also take wickets from the other end. If the batsmen are set and targeting the slow bowlers, you need more than just one strike bowler to keep things under control. De Lange and Abbott are more than just raw pace bowlers, and with some nurturing and exposure at international level, can step up when Steyn is injured or retires in a few years.

    Tsotsobe is on the wrong side of 30 and Parnell is not consistent.

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