Johannesburg, Dec 6: Uncapped 21-year-old fast bowler Marchant de Lange was included in South Africa's squad on Tuesday for next week's first test against Sri Lanka.
The Proteas also recalled batsman Alviro Petersen to a 13-man group for the match at Centurion, near Pretoria. Batsman JP Duminy, spin bowler Paul Harris and left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe were dropped.
De Lange, who has played just 14 first-class games, took 5-56 in an innings for South Africa A against Australia in a four-day game last month.
The powerful young quick who made his first-class debut just a year ago is highly rated by South Africa bowling coach Allan Donald, although a dislocated thumb could limit his chances of appearing at his home ground at Centurion in the series opener.
"He has impressed all with his pace and potential and he took full advantage of his opportunity against Australia for the South Africa A squad," said head selector Andrew Hudson.
"There is some doubt about whether he will recover in time from his thumb injury but, even if that is the case, he will learn a great deal just from being part of the national squad environment."
Petersen returned after missing the drawn series against Australia. He made a century in the same South Africa A game.
Seam bowler Vernon Philander retained his place after impressive performances in his first two tests against Australia, while Pakistan-born legspinner Imran Tahir was the only specialist slow bowler in Harris' absence.
Hudson said South Africa would likely choose a larger squad for the second and third tests in Durban and Cape Town.
Sri Lanka arrived in Johannesburg earlier Tuesday for their six-week tour, which also includes a three-day warmup game starting on Friday and five one-day internationals following the test series.
Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan and his men flew in amid reports that they had not been paid by their national cricket body since March because of financial problems within Cricket Sri Lanka.
In a statement from the South African Cricketers' Association, Proteas captain Graeme Smith and vice-captain AB de Villiers offered their support to their fellow players.
"In this age of professionalism in cricket this kind of thing should not be happening," De Villiers said. "It's a credit to the players that they've kept playing for their country since March despite all of this. We hope it gets sorted out soon."
SACA said a total of around $6 million was owed to Sri Lanka's cricketers.