South Africa rest T20 World Cup and IPL star for Test series against West Indies

Cricket South Africa announced a 16-member squad for the two-match Test series in West Indies. 

South Africa vs West Indies (Source - X)?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4

Cricket South Africa announced their 16-member Test squad for their upcoming two matches of the Test series against the West Indies, which is slated to take place next month. This series marks the presence of Matthew Breetzke, who has finally earned his first maiden call-up for the red-ball series. Breetzke's excellent domestic season showed his potential and allowed him to place himself in the upcoming series. The cricketer has captained South Africa A in a four-day match against India A in December 2023. The stylish right-handed batter has shown that he is ready for the international stage after averaging 46 in the domestic four-day tournament last season and smashing a career-high 188.

Meanwhile, Ryan Rickelton, who last appeared in the Test squad against the West Indies in March 2023, has been added back to the 16-man squad. Now it seems that with Rickelton back, the batting order boosts depth and experience, as well as offering a reliable option behind the stumps. On the other hand, the dangerous left-arm pacer Marco Jansen won't be available for the team, which was excellent during the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2024.

Marco Jansen played a crucial role in leading South Africa to the finals of the 2024 T20 World Cup

The all-rounder played a big role in guiding his side to the finals; however, Rohit Sharma led Team India outclassed Proteas to win the title in Barbados. With Jansen out of the team, star pacer Wiaan Mulder will be the team's only seam-bowling all-around player. Mulder will be hoping to have a major impact in the forthcoming series. Mulder last appeared in Tests at home against the West Indies.

"The decision to rest Marco Jansen was taken to allow for a conditioning period aimed at ensuring optimal physical and mental well-being given the season-long workloads. This tour is extremely important for us as we aim to improve our standing in the World Test Championship. We have therefore selected our strongest possible squad and look forward to strong performances in the Caribbean," said coach Shukri Conrad in a statement.

Meanwhile, Anrich Nortje, who preferred not to sign a central contract this year as a way to stay focused solely on T20 cricket, will not be considered for the upcoming series, whereas South Africa's pace attack will be led by the formidable duo of Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi. In addition to this, left-arm pacer Nandre Burger will be back, bolstering the pace batteries.

South Africa Squad: 

Temba Bavuma, David Bedingham, Matthew Breetzke, Nandre Burger, Gerald Coetzee, Tony de Zorzi, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Tristan Stubbs, Ryan Rickelton, Kyle Verreynne.

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