Ontong recalled into national team for NZ tour

Last Updated: Jan 26, 2012, 19:32 PM IST

Johannesburg: Justin Ontong`s special ability as a tail-ender earned him a return to the South African cricket team after a break of three years.

Ontong was named as part of the Protease team scheduled to tour New Zealand next month.

The provincial Cape Cobras player said he was very pleased at his return to the national squad and insisted that he has evolved as a cricketer over the years and was equipped to achieve success at the highest level.

"When I last played in the national team, it felt like they (the team management) did not exactly know what to do with me," Ontong told the Afrikaans daily Beeld.

"At times I was selected as a batsman and then again as a bowler. I hope that now they will use me in the same way as the Cape Cobras do," he added.

Ontong has achieved great success with the bat for his provincial side, where he has been entrusted to take the team through the death overs.

His ability to tank fast runs and hit boundaries in the dying stage of the game has been highly valued.

Convener of the selectors Andrew Hudson said that Ontong was selected in the team exactly for that ability.

"His ability to round off matches was crucial in the success of this year`s (local) series and I believe he has developed into a more mature player," Hudson told the daily.

"He is an ideal one-day player, he is an outstanding batsman and will also strengthen our fielding unit. On top of that he will also offer the team an additional bowling choice," he added.

PTI