The uncapped pair of Heinrich Klaasen and Wiaan Mulder have been named in the 15-man South Africa squad for the first two Tests of the four-match series against Australia, beginning March 1 at the Kingsmead Cricket Ground in Durban.
While wicketkeeper-batsman Klaasen recently notched 69 runs from 30 balls in South Africa’s six-wicket win over India in T20I, 20-year-old Mulder has played a single ODI against Bangladesh at East London in October 2017.
Reflecting on Klaasen’s inclusion, Cricket South Africa (CSA) selector Linda Zondi said that the 26-year-old has been tremendously impressive in the white-ball matches and that they are expecting a similar kind of performance in the five-day format.
“Klaasen has been tremendously impressive in the white-ball matches he has played for the Proteas and we firmly believe he can become just as good a player in the five-day format,” cricket.com.au quoted Cricket Zondi, as saying.
Klaasen will also serve as a back up to incumbent gloveman Quinton de Kock, who has returned to the squad after recovering from a wrist injury. “He has averaged nearly 50 with the bat in Sunfoil four-day cricket this season and hit two centuries.We are also keen to have a back-up wicketkeeper to De Kock in the squad,” Zondi said.
Meanwhile, Mulder’s selection comes in the wake of the CSA’s strategy to expand their pool of all-rounders against top quality opposition, said Zondi.
The full South Africa squad is as follows
South Africa: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.