Quinton de Kock
Quinton de Kock

Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock was named South African Test team captain for the upcoming two-match series against Sri Lanka.

The 16-member squad includes rookie opener Sarel Erwee, wicketkeeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne and medium-pacer Glenton Stuurman, the trio receiving their maiden call-ups.

Eight months after South Africa's director of cricket, Graeme Smith had ruled him out, limited over skipper De Kock was handed the reins of the Test squad for the 2020-21 season on a temporary basis with a permanent captain to be announced in the coming months.

"De Kock's appointment for this season is motivated by the light Test cricket load on this season, with the Proteas only playing three series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia respectively," CSA said in a statement.

"The National Selection Panel led by Convenor of Selectors, Victor Mpitsang, is confident of De Kock's leadership capabilities and the leadership he has shown so far and will spend the next few months finalizing the appointment of the player who will take on the permanent role." Erwee was rewarded for his consistent run, having scored 469 runs, including a 199 against the Imperial Lions last month, in 8 innings in domestic season, Stuurman "boasts an impressive 4-Day Series record of 181 wickets from 46 matches at a bowling average of 21.28 for the Warriors." Verreynne, 23, too has been impressive in the domestic series last season, having "amassed 551 runs in 11 innings, at an average of 55.10, including two centuries and three half-centuries for the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras." South Africa will, however, miss the services of top seamer Kagiso Rabada and all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, who were ruled out of the series due to injuries.

Pretorius was ruled out of the recent white-ball series against England with a hamstring concern while Rabada picked up a groin strain during the T20Is.

"Kagiso Rabada and Dwaine Pretorius are not yet fit enough for the physical exertions of Test cricket as a result of injuries picked up during the England tour," CSA said.

"They and one or two other players being considered by the selectors will go through assessments in the next few days to see whether they will be fit enough to be added to the squad ahead of the second match." The Proteas pace attack will be lead by Lungi Ngidi, who missed out on Test cricket last season because of injury, along with Anrich Nortje and Beuran Hendricks.

The two Tests, part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC), will be South Africa's first since the coronavirus pandemic hit the sport and will played over the traditional Boxing Day (Dec 26-30) and the New Year's (Jan 03-07) windows.

South Africa squad for Sri Lanka Tests: Quinton de Kock (capt & wk), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Dean Elgar, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Sarel Erwee, Anrich Nortje, Glenton Stuurman, Wiaan Mulder, Keegan Petersen, Kyle Verreynne.

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