South Africa have included Shaun Pollock in the 12-member squad for the first Test against New Zealand which starts on November 8 in Johannesburg. They have also retained all 11 members of the side which played the Test series against Pakistan last month.
"The team deserves a full vote of confidence after their magnificent series win in Pakistan," said Joubert Strydom, the chairperson of South Africa's national selection panel. South Africa are coming off a triumphant tour of Pakistan where they won the Test series 1-0 and the ODIs 3-2.
Pollock was dropped for the first time in his 107-Test career in the Pakistan series with captain Graeme Smith explaining that it was a tactical decision to rest Pollock and give some young fast bowlers exposure to alien conditions. Coach Mickey Arthur had said that Pollock had more of a role to play in Tests in South Africa where the pitches are more conducive to fast bowling than in the subcontinent.
"If we have a nice green wicket, then there's a very good chance he'll [Pollock] play," Strydom told News24.com. ""He's a senior player, and he is a very astute adviser. He relishes the task of helping the younger bowlers and if he carries the drinks onto the field, you can be sure he will be taking some tactics along at the same time."
South Africa named their team only for the first Test and Strydom said there was no way that those selected could relax.
"I watched Neil McKenzie and Boeta Dippenaar playing for South Africa A in Potchefstroom yesterday [on Thursday]," Strydom said. "They're pushing hard for a place and players like Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince and Herschelle Gibbs are all under pressure. No-one in the team can afford to relax for a minute."
Squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Ashwell Prince, Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher (wk), Andre Nel, Paul Harris, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock.