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Zubayr Hamza gets South Africa call-up for Tests against Pakistan

South Africa news

South Africa have named a 13-man squad for the upcoming three-Test series against Pakistan at home, calling up batsman Zubayr Hamza and recalling paceman Duanne Olivier.

Hamza, the 23-year-old batsman, is the only new face in the squad, while Olivier has been given a chance to add to his five Test appearances following the injury-enforced absence of Lungi Ngidi.

“Zubayr has been one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into the South Africa A tour to India where he averaged over 50 in the four-day series against tough opposition and under tough conditions,” pointed out Cricket South Africa National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi.

Duanne Olivier has got an opportunity in the absence of Lungi Ngidi
Duanne Olivier has got an opportunity in the absence of Lungi Ngidi

“Before that, he had an outstanding season in the four-day franchise competition where he scored 823 runs, including three centuries, at the impressive average of 69.

“His selection is part of our vision for the future as we start to feed new players into the system. It is inevitable that some of our senior players will start thinking of retiring in years to come and it is vital that we have a good succession plan in place.”

First Test December 26-30 at SuperSport Park in Centurion
Second Test January 3-7 at Newlands in Cape Town
Third Test January 11-15 at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg

On the inclusion of Olivier, who has picked up 17 wickets in five Tests – all in 2017 – Zondi said, “As unfortunate as Lungi’s injury is we are blessed to have outstanding depth in our fast-bowling resources. Duanne has impressed on his previous appearances for the Proteas and has had a good franchise season to date with 20 wickets in his five matches at an average of 22.80.”

If Hamza is picked in the playing XI in any of the three Tests, he will become the 100th player to represent South Africa in Test cricket.

Squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn

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