With a Test squad that has a 12-point lead at the top of the ICC rankings, South Africa’s selectors are choosing to stick with a good thing. They named an unchanged 15-member squad for the two Tests against India from the one that played against Pakistan in the UAE.
South Africa have won nine and lost only one of their last 13 matches in the 18 month period convener of selectors Andrew Hudson told ESPNcricinfo that was under consideration when deliberating the current squad. “If you look at that context and over that period, the team has been settled and has done exceptionally well. It’s not really a time to start changing anything,” he said.
Graeme Smith, who was part of the one-day squad, but didn’t play in any of the two ODIs, will return to lead the side in the Tests.
South Africa lost the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi by seven wickets, but bounced back in Dubai with an innings and 92-run win. “We were very happy with the performance of the Proteas in the second Test match at Dubai,” Andrew Hudson, the selection convenor, said. “We see no need to change something that is operating well.”
There are four fast bowlers in the squad in Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Rory Kleinveldt, and two spinners in Robin Peterson and Imran Tahir. The squad includes Thami Tsolekile as the reserve wicketkeeper.
The two-Test series kicks off on December 18 at the Wanderers while the second match will be played in Durban, from December 26.
South Africa Test squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile (wk)