Need for speed



August 4, 2016
Need for speed

WELCOME RETURN: Vernon Philander

Proteas Vernon and Steyn add zip for Kiwi test series.

The Proteas will be hoping to bounce back from their recent slump with the return of pace duo Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander.

The pair missed the Caribbean triangular series against the West Indies and Australia due to injury.

And they will add some fire to the Test squad that will face New Zealand in a two-match series this month without skipper AB de Villiers and seam colleague Morné Morkel.

Wayne Parnell, the only member of the 15-man squad announced by Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Tuesday, joins Vern, Dale, Chris Morris and SA Cricketer of the Year Kagiso Rabada as coach Russell Domingo’s pace options.

The home series will see the Proteas play at Kingsmead and Pretoria.

As such the selectors have only gone with one recognised spinner in Dane Piedt, who is on SA A duty against Australia A right now.

Aside from Piedt, stand-in skipper Faf du Plessis will also have JP Duminy and Dean Elgar as a slow bowling option.

Of the injuries and options in the squad, Convener of Selectors Linda Zondi says: “It is most unfortunate that we will not be able to call on two players of the quality and experience of De Villiers and Morkel.

“However, we are fortunate to have a capable stand-in leader in Faf du Plessis and other exciting options to select from.

“With both Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander fit and firing again after their respective long-term injuries, I am confident that we have the players to take on New Zealand and win.

“Another very encouraging sign is the good pre-season form being shown by a number of Test squad members during the two South Africa A four-day series.

“These include Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, Stiaan van Zyl, Vernon Philander and Dane Piedt.”

Injured AB adds: “I’m naturally disappointed to miss the Test series against New Zealand, particularly because I have not missed a Test match through injury since my debut in 2004.

“The Proteas finished last season on a positive note with a win against England in the last Sunfoil Test match, and I am confident that, with Faf at the helm, the team will build on this success.”

Test squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Stephen Cook, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Dean Elgar, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl.

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