Durban/UNI: South Africa have named their squads for the multi-format home series against India, beginning December 10.
The tour begins with three T20Is, followed by as many ODIs and finally two Tests, which will be a part of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle.
Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada have been rested for the ODI leg of the tour and will return for Tests. Aiden Markram, who is captaining the Proteas in T20Is, will also do so in ODIs in Bavuma's absence, an ICC report said.
Gerald Coetzee, Marco Jansen, and Lungi Ngidi will miss the final T20I as well as the ODI series to prepare for the red-ball leg by participating in first-class matches for their respective domestic sides.
"After an excellent overall showing at the recently concluded ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, we want to capitalise on that momentum and continue building on our core group during this Freedom Series," limited-overs' head coach Rob Walter said.
"We have a busy summer ahead starting with the T20Is and then ODIs against India and we have therefore taken the decision to omit several of our senior players. This decision was taken together with coach Shukri as we place emphasis on the red-ball leg of the tour meaning they will instead be preparing for the Test series by playing domestic cricket.
"In saying that, the move has presented opportunities for others that have been performing well on the domestic level to be drafted in," he said.
Three players – all-rounder Mihlali Mpongwana, batter David Bedingham, and fast bowler Nandre Burger – have been awarded their maiden international call-ups.
Mpongwana has been named in the ODI squad owing to a successful CSA Division 1 One-Day Cup campaign, while Bedingham has been added to the Test squad.
28-year-old Burger, who has had a spectacular domestic season, has been named in all three squads.
"We are looking forward to seeing what they can do, the likes of Nandre Burger, the leading wicket-taker in the One-Day Cup as well as Donovan Ferreira and Mihlali Mpongwana.
"We also have others back in the national fold such as Wiaan Mulder and Ottniel Baartman, so it is exciting to see how they will get on," Walter further added.
Batter Tristan Stubbs has received his maiden Test call-up to the side, while wicket-keeper Kyle Verreynne has been recalled to the ODI and Test squads.
Missing from the list are Anrich Nortje, and Wayne Parnell, who are recovering from injuries. Lizaad Williams has been added to the T20I and ODI squads but is currently being monitored for a groin strain and requires further medical assessment.
Test coach Shukri Conrad was also excited for the series, emphasizing on South Africa's unblemished record against India at home.
"It is the start of a new ICC World Test Championship cycle and that itself is a huge incentive for everyone. The playing field is level and we want to try and ensure we make a strong start to this sequence here at home against one of the best teams in the world," he said.
"Overall we believe this group has all the attributes to deliver on our objective, which is to maintain our proud record against India in South Africa," Conrad added.
South Africa T20I squad: Aiden Markram (c), Ottniel Baartman, Matthew Breetzke, Nandre Burger, Gerald Coetzee (1st and 2ndT20Is), Donovan Ferreira, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen (1st and 2nd T20Is), Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi (1st and 2nd T20Is), Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, and Lizaad Williams
South Africa ODI squad: Aiden Markram (c), Ottniel Baartman, Nandre Burger, Tony de Zorzi, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Mihlali Mpongwana, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne and Lizaad Williams
South Africa Test squad: Temba Bavuma (c), David Bedingham, Nandre Burger, Gerald Coetzee, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Keegan Petersen, Kagiso Rabada, Tristan Stubbs and Kyle Verreynne.
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