South Africa today named uncapped pair Heinrich Klaasen and Wiaan Mulder in their 15-man squad to face Australia in the first two Tests of the Qantas tour of South Africa.
Klaasen, the wicketkeeper-batsman for Centurion-based Titans, starred for the Proteas on Wednesday night, scoring 69 from 30 balls in South Africa’s six-wicket T20 international win over India.
South Africa squad: 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.
The 26-year-old also serves as a back up to incumbent gloveman Quinton de Kock, who returns after suffering a wrist injury.
Mulder, a 20-year-old allrounder, has played a single one-day international but is familiar with the Australians having played against them for South Africa A in the ongoing three-day tour match in Benoni.
The right-hander made 29 in the hosts’ first innings and bowled 11 overs of medium pace for returns of 0-52.
While there are two fresh faces, South Africa’s veterans will all line up against Australia – the likes of skipper Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, along with boom young quicks Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.
“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,” said Cricket South Africa selector Linda Zondi.
“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.
“The selection of Mulder continues our strategy to expand our pool of all-rounders against top quality opposition.
“He is a batting all-rounder and his selection will depend on how we decide to balance our starting XI. He has been the top all-rounder in the Sunfoil Series with a batting average of 60 (one century) and 15 wickets at an average of 28.
“It has been very exciting this season to see the way young players have settled into the various Proteas squads and done well and this is a continuation of that policy.”
Qantas Tour of South Africa
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
South Africa squad: 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, Lungisani Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.
Warm-up match v South Africa A, Sahara Park, Benoni, Feb 22-24
First Test Kingsmead, Durban, March 1-5
Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3