South Africa name `unchanged` test squad for England series
Johannesburg : Cricket South Africa (CSA) Wednesday showed faith in the Test squad that won their last series comprehensively against New Zealand when the selectors named an unchanged group for the three-match series in England.
The 15-man squad will play Tests at The Oval in London and at Headingley in Leeds before returning to London for the final match at Lord`s. The series starts on July 19 with the final Test finishing Aug 20.
England and South Africa are ranked Nos.1 and 2, respectively, on the latest ICC Test match rankings announced this week at the conclusion of England`s series against the West Indies.
"The players fully deserve a vote of confidence after the outstanding manner in which they outplayed New Zealand away from home," CSA selection convener Andrew Hudson said.
"We are now building up excellent depth in both the batting and bowling departments. This was highlighted by JP Duminy`s century when he was called up as an 11th hour replacement for Jacques Kallis.”
"I believe most other countries would be very happy to have the fast bowling resources we have at the moment. Marchant de Lange has been most impressive since his outstanding debut against Sri Lanka while Lonwabo Tsotsobe gives us a left-arm option.
"Consistency has also been one of the key pillars of our selection policy and this is also contributing to our success on the field."
Hudson added that AB de Villiers would be the reserve wicketkeeper for the Test series.
Captain Graeme Smith has made a complete recovery from his out-of-season operation and has already had two throw-down sessions with national coach Gary Kirsten.
"Graeme has been outstanding both as our leading runs scorer and as captain during our last two Test tours of England and I have every confidence he will continue that form," added Hudson.
Due to Johan Botha’s knee injury, he has been forced to withdraw from the T20 series in Zimbabwe. Hashim Amla will take over the captaincy and the squad will be reduced to 14 players.
Test squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, Marchant de Lange, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.