Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Thursday named a 14-member South Africa 'A' squad for the upcoming three-match four-day contests against India 'A' in Bloemfontein.
The home team will be led by 32-year-old opening batter Pieter Malan. The series, an opportunity for the players to vie for places in the senior squad before India's upcoming tour of the country, will be held from November 23 to December 9 at Mangaung Oval.
All-rounder George Linde and fast bowler Lutho Sipamla are in the squad with Warriors pacer Marco Jansen and Knights batter Raynard van Tonder also included. CSA convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang stressed on the significance of the series before the Indian team's tour.
"Test cricket remains one of CSA's key focus areas, along with ensuring that the format continues to thrive and hold relevance in our country. It is therefore vital that a steady stream of talent continues to emerge from our high-performance programme," Mpitsang said in a press release.
"The COVID-19 pandemic saw the disruption of the South Africa A team's fixtures and CSA is pleased to see the return of content for this programme. We are looking forward to more tours for this team in particular, as the A team programme is a crucial one to CSA's overall pipeline strategy.
"The senior South Africa and India teams will be clashing this summer here at home, so this is an ideal opportunity for players with Proteas ambitions to put their hands up and make a case for themselves."
On Tuesday, the BCCI also announced the India 'A' squad for the tour with Gujarat's Priyank Panchal named as captain of the team that also comprises Prithvi Shaw, Navdeep Saini and rookie Kashmiri pacer Umran Malik.
South Africa 'A' squad:
Pieter Malan (captain, Rocks), Sarel Erwee (Dolphins), Dominic Hendricks (Lions), Raynard van Tonder (Knights), Sinethemba Qeshile (Warriors), Senuran Muthusammy (North West Dragons), Marco Jansen (Warriors), Migael Pretorius (Knights), Beuran Hendricks (Western Province), Lutho Sipamla (Lions), Glenton Stuurman (Warriors), George Linde (Western Province), Jason Smith (Dolphins), Tony de Zorzi (Western Province).
November 23-26: 1st Four-Day game at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
November 29-December 2: 2nd Four-Day game at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein
December 6-9: 3rd Four-Day game at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein. PTI AH SSC SSC