Uncapped George Linde replaces JJ Smuts for India T20Is

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South Africa have drafted in uncapped spinner George Linde as a replacement for Jon-Jon Trevor Smuts ahead of the three-match T20I series against India, starting later this month.

All-rounder Smuts was withdrawn from the squad for "failing to meet the required fitness standards", according to a Cricket South Africa release.

Linde, a left-arm spinner and a handy lower-order batsman, is currently part of the South Africa A squad, featuring in the ongoing one-day games against India A. He scored a quickfire 52* in the second game of the five-match series, and has picked up three wickets in as many games so far.

He was also part of the 15-man spin camp that practised in Bengaluru last month, in preparation for the A series and the senior team’s India tour. Since his debut for Western Province in 2012, Linde has featured in 75 T20s, picking up 77 wickets at 23.51.

The rest of the squad is expected to depart for India on Friday, 6 September.

Smuts featured in eight T20Is between January 2017 and February 2018, but hasn’t played for the national side ever since. He earned a recall to the T20I team after smashing a 60-ball 121 for Warriors against Lions in the final of the CSA T20 Challenge in May.

South Africa begin their India tour with a three-match T20I series, starting with the first game in Dharamsala, on September 15. The teams will then move on to the Test leg, consisting of three matches, scheduled to run until the second half of October.

South Africa T20I squad: Quinton de Kock (c), Rassie van der Dussen (vc), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde

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