South Africa have opted to extend the rest for Faf du Plessis, with Quinton de Kock, who has been leading the side in the ODIs, named captain for the T20Is against England as well.
The three-match T20I series, which starts on Wednesday, 12 February, also sees the return of fast bowler Dale Steyn, after a long injury-enforced spell on the sidelines. Steyn, 36, last played for South Africa in any format back in March 2019. His World Cup was ended before it even began by a recurring shoulder injury, the latest in a series of setbacks.
The veteran took the call to retire from Tests to extend his limited-overs career, and made clear his desire to play in this year’s ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup. Strong performances in the Mzansi Super League, where he took 15 wickets at 15.13, and in the Big Bash League, where he claimed five wickets in four matches for Melbourne Stars, allayed concerns of both fitness and form, and he finds himself back in the set-up.
In a World Cup year, Cricket South Africa selectors have opted to hand maiden call-ups for batsman Pite van Biljon and seamer Sisanda Magala. Van Biljon, 33, has a strike-rate of 133.16 from 66 T20 matches, including six fifties, and comes on the back of good first-class form this year.
Magala’s selection is subject to him clearing a fitness Test before the first match, CSA confirmed. Meanwhile, Kagiso Rabada’s period of rest has also been extended.
“We have once again taken the opportunity to reward some of the hard workers of our domestic franchise system while some of our key senior players continue with their much-needed rest period,” said Graeme Smith, acting Director of Cricket. “We have again put our faith in Quinton to lead this group of exciting cricketers, picking up where he left off in India where he showed exemplary leadership.
Added selector Linda Zondi, “[W]e are thrilled to include Sisanda Magala and Pite van Biljon to the T20 squad as we go about our search for that T20 World Cup 15. Both have been outstanding for their respective franchise teams in the past and we are keen to see how they do against an imposing English side.”
The series begins in East London before travelling to Durban and Centurion for the second and third matches on 14 and 16 February.
Squad: Quinton de Kock (c, wk), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts, Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen.