South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 August 5, 2014

SA call up Rossouw, Shezi for Zimbabwe ODIs

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South Africa's selectors have picked uncapped batsman Rilee Rossouw and left-arm seamer Mthokozisi Shezi for this month's three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in which they will rest they regular pace pack. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander will not feature but will return for the tri-series, which also includes Australia, that takes place immediately afterwards.

Despite the trio's time off, there was no space for Lonwabo Tsotsobe or Rory Kleinveldt, who were both expected to feature in this series. Tsotsobe was recovering from ankle surgery which kept him out South Africa's tour to Sri Lanka and was declared "on track to being fully fit for the Zimbabwe series," by team manager Mohammed Moosajee in June, while Kleinveldt, who had a knee injury, was due to travel with the A side to Australia. No explanation has been provided for why the pair remain benched but they have made way for Shezi, Marchant de Lange and Kyle Abbott.

Shezi is the only one of the new bowlers who has not played an ODI for South Africa. Although he did not feature among the top wicket-takers in the domestic List A competition, he has been part of South Africa's A side. He was their second-highest wicket-taker in the quadrangular series in Australia with 11 scalps at an average of 14.90.

De Lange was South Africa's leading wicket-taker at that tournament with 14 wickets at 21.71 to earn a recall to the national side after an absence of 28 months - a period which has been punctuated with injury. Since his appearances against New Zealand in March 2012, de Lange has suffered from stress fractures which confined him to the physiotherapist's bench for much of the last two seasons. After making small changes to his action, he made a full return last summer and was bowling at speeds of 150kph and slowly ushered back to the international stage through involvement with the A side.

South Africa's second tier team is also where the other new cap, Rossouw has been plucked from. Although the South Africa A side won just two of the six matches they played in the four-team tournament - and both were against the Australian National Performance Squad - Rossouw was the leading run-scorer overall. He notched up 337 runs at 48.14, including a century and two fifties, at a strike-rate of 96.01. He has shown similar promise throughout his career and has averaged 38.00 or above in List A cricket in the last three seasons.

"He [Rossouw] has also been a consistent performer in franchise cricket for some time and his selection is well deserved," Andrew Hudson, South Africa's convener of selectors said. "The message is clear to all our players: if you perform at domestic level and then take it through to SA A level, you will be rewarded."

Rossouw's inclusion may otherwise have been seen as little more than reward for a strong domestic form - as Stiaan van Zyl and Dane Piedt's was on the tour to Sri Lanka - but he may end up as a serious contender for South Africa's World Cup starting XI. The retirement of Jacques Kallis has opened up a spot in South Africa's batting line-up that will have to fill before next year's event.

Faf du Plessis is the leading candidate to take up that position, as he has done at Test level but, after being dropped from the ODI squad last December following a run of poor form, he will know there is no certainty over his spot. Du Plessis will likely have the three ODIs against Zimbabwe to show whether he has regained fifty-over form before South Africa name their squad for the tri-series.

Along with the return of the regular paces, there may also be space for Under-19 World Cup winner Kagiso Rabada, who will travel with the senior squad. Rabada was the leading wicket-taker for South Africa at the U-19 World Cup with 14 wickets from five games, has earned a franchise contract with the Lions and could be fast-tracked like Quinton de Kock was as South Africa search for an x-factor ahead of the World Cup. "We want him to experience and learn from the environment around the Proteas," Hudson said.

The only department where South Africa seem to have completely settled on their options is the spin one. Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso are the two spinners, with Tahir likely to start. Ryan McLaren will assume the role as premier allrounder after Kallis' retirement.

South Africa squad for Zimbabwe ODIs: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Quinton de Kock, Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Rilee Rossouw, Mthokozisi Shezi

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Proteas1992 on August 10, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    Kagiso Rabada is such an exciting prospect. An attack of steyn, merchant de lange, rabada and morkel in 2 years would be FEARSOME. Lets hope Piedt, Rabada, De Kock, Rilee Roussow and De Lange turn into international stars to complement steyn, amla and devilliers

  • on August 7, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Would have thought they'd want to rest ABD and Amla as well and make Faf the captain. SA batting is wayyy to dependent on these 2. It would be a good chance for the others (especially the top 3) to take more responsibility. I know de kock had some good performances of late but in general.

  • ZkAneela on August 7, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    I am really looking forward to see Merchant De Lange.He is very fast and hoping that He improves and get selected in WC squad.He will be quite handful in Aus and NZ as He is definitely a wicket taker.@TommytuckerSaffa..Totally agree that for tests, Tahir is just not good enough.

  • Gareth_Bain on August 7, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    It's interesting that in 7 years, Shezi has only played 7 franchise L/O games for the Dolphins, with the rest for the amateur team, including none this past season. And yet he does so well when he peculiarly gets a chance for the SA A side. What can SA A selectors see that Dolphins can't?

  • on August 7, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    think sa need to look for young spinners thats where they lacking imran tahir reallly looking flop JP is ok but he has more responsibilty with the bat south africa should give phangasion and keshav maharaj a chance

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 6, 2014, 21:14 GMT

    @ZkAneela For ODIs and T20 - Yes agreed. For test cricket, definitely not.

  • ZkAneela on August 6, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    @tommytuckersaffa..Right that we should plan for the future but I think that WC must be the first priority for the future and for that we should persist with Tahir as He is the most successful bowler and the best choice at the moment.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 6, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    @ZainE111 True but Tahir is not getting any younger, he is touching 36. We need to groom and plan for the future.

  • ZainE111 on August 6, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    Tahir is still a decent ODI bowler. If SA decide to play a permanent spinner outside the subcontinent, it'll be Tahir. So Piedt will have to wait.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 6, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    @JohannK I guarantee you, that when Piedt starts playing Test cricket for SA and doing well, he will force his way into the ODI setup. As you rightly point out, Phangiso's figures are not great, but he is a fringe player and he has been in the squad setup for a few years now. Think of it as keeping Dane's seat warm until his ready. I dont think a full time spinner will be required in Oz for the WC anyway, Duminy will do.

  • Proteas1992 on August 10, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    Kagiso Rabada is such an exciting prospect. An attack of steyn, merchant de lange, rabada and morkel in 2 years would be FEARSOME. Lets hope Piedt, Rabada, De Kock, Rilee Roussow and De Lange turn into international stars to complement steyn, amla and devilliers

  • on August 7, 2014, 18:23 GMT

    Would have thought they'd want to rest ABD and Amla as well and make Faf the captain. SA batting is wayyy to dependent on these 2. It would be a good chance for the others (especially the top 3) to take more responsibility. I know de kock had some good performances of late but in general.

  • ZkAneela on August 7, 2014, 15:49 GMT

    I am really looking forward to see Merchant De Lange.He is very fast and hoping that He improves and get selected in WC squad.He will be quite handful in Aus and NZ as He is definitely a wicket taker.@TommytuckerSaffa..Totally agree that for tests, Tahir is just not good enough.

  • Gareth_Bain on August 7, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    It's interesting that in 7 years, Shezi has only played 7 franchise L/O games for the Dolphins, with the rest for the amateur team, including none this past season. And yet he does so well when he peculiarly gets a chance for the SA A side. What can SA A selectors see that Dolphins can't?

  • on August 7, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    think sa need to look for young spinners thats where they lacking imran tahir reallly looking flop JP is ok but he has more responsibilty with the bat south africa should give phangasion and keshav maharaj a chance

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 6, 2014, 21:14 GMT

    @ZkAneela For ODIs and T20 - Yes agreed. For test cricket, definitely not.

  • ZkAneela on August 6, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    @tommytuckersaffa..Right that we should plan for the future but I think that WC must be the first priority for the future and for that we should persist with Tahir as He is the most successful bowler and the best choice at the moment.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 6, 2014, 13:45 GMT

    @ZainE111 True but Tahir is not getting any younger, he is touching 36. We need to groom and plan for the future.

  • ZainE111 on August 6, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    Tahir is still a decent ODI bowler. If SA decide to play a permanent spinner outside the subcontinent, it'll be Tahir. So Piedt will have to wait.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 6, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    @JohannK I guarantee you, that when Piedt starts playing Test cricket for SA and doing well, he will force his way into the ODI setup. As you rightly point out, Phangiso's figures are not great, but he is a fringe player and he has been in the squad setup for a few years now. Think of it as keeping Dane's seat warm until his ready. I dont think a full time spinner will be required in Oz for the WC anyway, Duminy will do.

  • JohannK on August 6, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    Phangiso averages 31 per wicket, 4.6 per over and has a strike rate of 41 balls per wicket in List A (117 matches) Dane Piedt averages 29 pw, 4.5 per over and 39 balls per wicket (44 matches) Phangiso's ODI averages are far worse (average 61 pw; 5.3 rpo and 69 balls per wicket). Piedt has not played ODIs. Piedt has plenty of variation - a critical weapon for ODI bowlers, as batsmen are contained by the variation (so long as they are accurate). Phangiso is 30 Piedt is 24.

    Can anyone explain to me why Phangiso is selected ahead of Piedt?

  • NixNixon on August 6, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    Would like to see 1.Rossouw 2. De Kock, 3. Amla, 4. AB, 5. Miller, 6. Duminy, 7. McLaren, 8. Philander, 9. Steyn, 10. Morkel, 11. (Tsotsobe/Radaba/Tahir)

    Miller needs to bat higher up for SA to fully utilise hiis potential to take the game away from the opposition. Also Amla the new Kallis for SA , Tsotsobe has done well for SA and depending on the pitch would like to see either him included or Tahir. Philander brings control with the ball and also very very handy with the bat. Does not hurt to have two bowlers who can bat coming in at 7 and 8

  • Robster1 on August 6, 2014, 0:32 GMT

    Good to see SA's youngsters for once seemingly picked on merit. Give Roussouw a good run in the team ahead of the World Cup. Miller remains a potentially excellent finisher and Faf can cement together the top order. Thank goodness the chief pie thrower Kleinveldt has at last been dropped. A welcome back also to the express quick de Lange.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 5, 2014, 18:52 GMT

    I agree with NixNixon. I am not a huge Faff fan. Personally I think he is more a Test player than a T20/ODI one. His ODI stats are very poor. He is ABs best mate, so dont see him dropped anytime soon. With no batsmen being rested, I dont see where Rillee is going to bat?!

  • ZkAneela on August 5, 2014, 18:14 GMT

    Drop Miller and play Rossouw for God sake.Not impressed with Miller as He didnt show anything for SA till now.Can anyone till me (actually remind me) any significant innings of him which turned the match for SA.I dont think that there would be any.He is much like Pollard.(Hero in IPL and Zero in Intl matches)...

  • Proteas_Supporter on August 5, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    Finally Rossouw is picked but don't think he will play in the XI unless they rest Amla or AB. Faf will take Kallis' place. and excited to see de Lange back. He is quick!

    Amla - QDK - Faf - AB - JP - Miller - McLaren - Parnell - Abbott - de Lange - Tahir

    will be the XI.

  • JohnMR on August 5, 2014, 14:11 GMT

    Tommytucker, Miller is averaging 32 with the bat. Coming in at 7 means that he has a handful of overs to construct an innings so 32 is actually alright. He bats 4 for his IPL team so even though its only 20 overs, he actually gets more overs to construct an innings. Anyway, theyre not competing, Riley is a top/middle order batsman looking to take over from Kallis or Faf in the 4 position whereas Miller is an out and out finisher. Try to keep up.

  • on August 5, 2014, 14:06 GMT

    Great choice SA give these talented youngsters opportunity . They are the future. All the best wishes from Totonto Canada

  • djdrastic on August 5, 2014, 13:50 GMT

    Well Done Rilee ! Hope the kid gets some runs as he's an incredibly stylish batsmen.

  • NixNixon on August 5, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    Faf averages 27 in ODIs from like 50 games. He is not the answer.

  • TJP1000 on August 5, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Not sure if Rossouw will even get a game. Faf should slot straight into Kallis' place and then McClaren and Parnell should bat at 7&8. Unless they rest ABD/Amla or Duminy, but with Kallis out SA will struggle if they rest Duminy for a batsman. I am more interested in anyway to see the playing eleven for the test match.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 5, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    An excellent choice for ODI and T20 cricket. Rillee's strike rate is very high and far higher than Stiaan Van Zyl. Stiaan is our man for the job in Test cricket.

    I really hope Rillee gets to start against Zimbabwe, I think he is a far better option than David Miller who seems to only score runs in the IPL.

  • ForeverProtea on August 5, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    Eventually Rilee gets the nod. I just hope he gets a chance to play. One of the most talented youngsters SA has had. He should slot in at 4 with AB at 3.

  • on August 5, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    This is going to be a great tri-series as both Australia and SA are blooding some young new talent so he great to see what future players we could be seeing along with some familiar faces. Fantastic for Zimbabwe too to have the number 1 and 2 ranked teams in their country at the same time as these small nations need to play more against the big boys , even if they are playing weakened teams.

  • Andre117 on August 5, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    It's sad to see talented youngsters only getting a chance when senior players are rested or retire. Too many players are under-performing for far too long.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Quinny bat after his perfomances in conditions which he normally struggled in. 100 in his next game should see his name written in the record books above Viv Richards :).

  • davey_boy_saffa on August 5, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    still think Stiaan van Zyl would've been a better choice, consistently one of the best domestic players, give him a chance to step up...

  • Romanticstud on August 5, 2014, 8:18 GMT

    I hope Shezi gets to play ... he is a talented youngster and along with Phangiso, who is underplayed, they should be given some time in the field ... Imagine if Phangiso and Tahir could bowl in tandem on the sub-continent ... it could boost both of their confidence levels ... And it would also give the quicks a bit of a rest ... but then with the likes of de Lange and Abbott having already had a little taste of test cricket it should turn into a great game for South Africa ... but then ... if any of these impress greatly, the question would be: are they good enough for South Africa to have player rotation permanently ... So as to prolong the careers of Steyn, Morkel and Philander ...

  • Saffa28 on August 5, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    Finally !!!!! Well deserved Rilee. Now one can onluy hope and pray they give him an extended run in the side to find his feet

  • SandhyaMohan on August 5, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    I still feel, they should have rested AB and Amla and give a chance to up coming players. Team already have enough senior players like JP, Miller and Faf

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  • SandhyaMohan on August 5, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    I still feel, they should have rested AB and Amla and give a chance to up coming players. Team already have enough senior players like JP, Miller and Faf

  • Saffa28 on August 5, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    Finally !!!!! Well deserved Rilee. Now one can onluy hope and pray they give him an extended run in the side to find his feet

  • Romanticstud on August 5, 2014, 8:18 GMT

    I hope Shezi gets to play ... he is a talented youngster and along with Phangiso, who is underplayed, they should be given some time in the field ... Imagine if Phangiso and Tahir could bowl in tandem on the sub-continent ... it could boost both of their confidence levels ... And it would also give the quicks a bit of a rest ... but then with the likes of de Lange and Abbott having already had a little taste of test cricket it should turn into a great game for South Africa ... but then ... if any of these impress greatly, the question would be: are they good enough for South Africa to have player rotation permanently ... So as to prolong the careers of Steyn, Morkel and Philander ...

  • davey_boy_saffa on August 5, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    still think Stiaan van Zyl would've been a better choice, consistently one of the best domestic players, give him a chance to step up...

  • Andre117 on August 5, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    It's sad to see talented youngsters only getting a chance when senior players are rested or retire. Too many players are under-performing for far too long.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Quinny bat after his perfomances in conditions which he normally struggled in. 100 in his next game should see his name written in the record books above Viv Richards :).

  • on August 5, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    This is going to be a great tri-series as both Australia and SA are blooding some young new talent so he great to see what future players we could be seeing along with some familiar faces. Fantastic for Zimbabwe too to have the number 1 and 2 ranked teams in their country at the same time as these small nations need to play more against the big boys , even if they are playing weakened teams.

  • ForeverProtea on August 5, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    Eventually Rilee gets the nod. I just hope he gets a chance to play. One of the most talented youngsters SA has had. He should slot in at 4 with AB at 3.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on August 5, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    An excellent choice for ODI and T20 cricket. Rillee's strike rate is very high and far higher than Stiaan Van Zyl. Stiaan is our man for the job in Test cricket.

    I really hope Rillee gets to start against Zimbabwe, I think he is a far better option than David Miller who seems to only score runs in the IPL.

  • TJP1000 on August 5, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Not sure if Rossouw will even get a game. Faf should slot straight into Kallis' place and then McClaren and Parnell should bat at 7&8. Unless they rest ABD/Amla or Duminy, but with Kallis out SA will struggle if they rest Duminy for a batsman. I am more interested in anyway to see the playing eleven for the test match.

  • NixNixon on August 5, 2014, 13:34 GMT

    Faf averages 27 in ODIs from like 50 games. He is not the answer.