South Africa T20I debut awaits an eager Christiaan Jonker

There are quite a few interesting names in the South Africa T20I squad for the series against India

Christiaan Jonker of South African
Christiaan Jonker of South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

Following the ODI series, the South African team will host India for the 3-match T20I series. After conceding the Test series to the Proteas, the Indians have worked their way back well in the ODI series. They currently lead the ODI series 3-1 and apparently are the favorites to win the series. This will be the first-ever bilateral series win for India in South Africa if they manage to win at least one game in the remaining two.

The Indian selectors have already announced the T20I squad for the tour and the players have already flown down to the rainbow nation. Earlier today, the South African team management also announced the squad for the series and there are a few interesting names in it. The 31-year-old Christiaan Jonker was also named in the squad and he is all excited to make his debut.

Love life! We only have one chance at it: Christiaan Jonker

This is exactly what Jonker’s Twitter status reads. He seems to be over the moon after his maiden call-up for the T20I series against India. At 31 years of age, Jonker may have believed his chance of playing for his country had passed him by. But that wasn’t the case and it is definitely a proof that hard work always pays off. There were two other uncapped players named alongside Jonker, namely, Junior Dala and Heinrich Klaasen who is currently playing the ongoing ODI series.

“Fortunately, I received the call on Monday already, so I have had a night for it to sink in,” Jonker told Independent Media. “But my phone was buzzing all day, people calling to congratulate me and also the media, so today has been exciting. It is certainly is a wonderful feeling to be called to play for your country. Sometimes you think that it may never happen, and then this happens, and you like a little child again. Age is certainly nothing but a number,” he said expressing his happiness.

Domestic performances rewarded by the selectors

The selectors are awarding the performers in domestic cricket irrespective of their age. Linda Zondi, the chief selector said that “With the Test Series against Australia starting only five days after the completion of the T20 Series, it is necessary for us to rest some of the players who have featured in virtually all our international matches so far this summer. These include Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram among the batsmen as well as most of our frontline fast bowlers. AB de Villiers has missed quite a lot of cricket this summer so he will play in the T20 Series.”

Zondi also said that Imran Tahir is their first-choice spinner. But he also added that they are planning for the T20 WC in 2020. He said Tabriaz Shamsi and Aaron Phangiso are part of their plans and that they will give them more chances. Further, he said Christiaan Jonker performed very well at the domestic level and that Jonker will take up the finishers’ role.

Proteas T20 squad: JP Duminy (c), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, AB de Villiers, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.