Cape Town: South Africa have named teenage speedster Kagiso Rabada in a 14-man squad for their three-match home test series against West Indies, Cricket South Africa announced on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old, selected along with uncapped Lions team mate Temba Bavuma, is seen as a raw talent but one with a bright future and he could be given a run in the series with a busy summer of cricket for the Proteas that includes the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Bavuma has been rewarded for some good form with the South Africa A side but is unlikely to play in the first test, with Stiaan van Zyl set to debut in the place of the injured JP Duminy in the number seven batting position.
“We have been very pleased with the way the test squad has performed in its last three outings in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe,” CSA selection convener Andrew Hudson said in a media release on Tuesday.
“Part of this has been the result of consistency in the selection process and also establishing a pecking order. Stiaan was the reserve batsman against Zimbabwe so he is the logical choice to replace Duminy.”
Left-arm spinner Robin Peterson has been called up in place of the injured Dane Piedt and ahead of Imran Tahir, with selectors believing he performs better in South African conditions.
Hudson said the selections of Rabada and Bavuma were made with an eye to the future.
“We want to bring players whom we have identified as having international potential into the team environment. This is a policy that has worked well in the past with the likes of Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock, among others,” Hudson says.
“Both Temba and Kagiso have impressed at franchise and South Africa A level and they are ready to be considered for senior international duty.”
The first test starts on Dec. 17 in Pretoria, followed by matches in Port Elizabeth (Dec. 26-30) and Cape Town (Jan. 2-6). The West Indies will also play three Twenty20 games and five one-day internationals after the test series.
Squad: Hashim Amla (captain), AB de Villiers, Alviro Petersen, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Stiaan van Zyl, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Abbott, Kagiso Rabada.