Johannesburg: Seamer Duanne Olivier and bowling all-rounder Chris Morris have been added to the 17-man South Africa squad for the remaining two Tests of the four-match series against Australia.
The decision to boost the bowling resources in the squad comes in the wake of two-match suspension on star speedster Kagiso Rabada, whose participation in the rest of the series is hinging on whether he succeeds in his appeal against a Level 2 sanction later today.
Reflecting on the same, Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Selection Panel Convener Linda Zondi said that the circumstances have forced them to name expanded squad, while also confirming that they have retained all the 15 players who had helped in levelling the series.
“Circumstances have forced us to name a large squad at this stage so that we can cover all possible options.We have retained the 15 players who produced an excellent performance to level the Test series in Port Elizabeth,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Zondi, as saying.
Zondi said that while Olivier was a star bowler for South Africa A during their tour match against Australia, Morris has been in terrific form in domestic cricket recently.
“Olivier was the pick of our bowlers for South Africa A in their tour match against Australia while Morris has been in excellent form in domestic cricket, taking four wickets in an innings and making more than 150 runs, including a century, for the Titans in the Sunfoil Series against the log-leading Warriors,” he said.
While Olivier last appeared in Test match against Bangladesh at the start of the summer, while Morris did not get a chance to appear in the longest format of the game since July 2017 in England. Meanwhile, Morne Morkel, who did not feature in the third Test in Port Elizabeth, is most likely to replace suspended Rabada with Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi making up the rest of the fast bowling attack.
The four-match series is currently levelled at 1-1 after South Africa won the second Test by six wickets.The two sides will play the third Test on March 22 in Cape Town.
The South Africa squad is as follows:
Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.