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South Africa vs Sri Lanka: Hosts announce the 14-man squad for the Test series

Rabada continues to play without any rest ahead of the World Cup.

South Africa
South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

South Africa have had a pretty wonderful summer so far. They defeated Pakistan 3-0 in the three-match Test series and then defeated the visitors 4-1 in the ODI series and 2-1 in the three-match T20I series. Their next target will be Sri Lanka, who will be visiting for the two-Test series.

South Africa have announced their squad for the Tests and it includes the 20-year-old uncapped all-rounder Wiaan Mulder in the 14-man squad. He had made his international debut in 2017 against Bangladesh and has been on the Cricket South Africa’s radar for a long time. Mulder has been included in the squad to replace Lungi Ngidi, who is still to recover from his knee injury. Ngidi had hurt his knee during the Australia tour in November 2018.

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Meanwhile, Wiaan Mulder was included in the Test series against Australia last year but couldn’t make it to the playing XI and then suffered an Achilles tendon injury against Zimbabwe earlier in the season. Cricket South Africa selection convener Linda Zondi said that Wiaan Mulder has been part of our strategic thinking in developing a batting all-rounder for the Test squad for some time and his injury against Zimbabwe came at the worst possible time and his inclusion in the Sri Lanka Test series is part of the process to bring him back into Proteas set-up.

Mulder played three matches for the Lions in the 4-Day Franchise Series and picked 10 wickets and also hit his career-best 146 against Knights in Bloemfontein. He then made his Proteas appearance in the fifth ODI against Pakistan and was chosen for the T20I series too.

We never want to rush players

“We never want to rush players back from injury because that can be counter-productive, but he has now had a couple of good weeks of action in the 4-Day Domestic Series,” said Zondi according to Sport24. “For the same reason, we are not going to rush Lungi Ngidi back into international action until he has had the time to gain full match fitness.”

The squad features Test regulars like Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Dean Elgar and Duanne Olivier, who had a brilliant series against Pakistan. The Test series will begin from 13th February and the first Test will be played at Kingsmead, Durban, while the second Test will be played from 21st February at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth.

South Africa Test squad: Faf du Plessis (C), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn.

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