Johannesburg: Most of South Africa’s Test players will sit out a three-match Twenty20 international series against India, starting at the Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.
JP Duminy, who has retired from Test cricket, will captain a squad which includes only batsman AB de Villiers of the country’s likely first-choice Test players.
Selection convener Linda Zondi admitted that the selection was influenced by the fact that South Africa start a four-match Test series against Australia on March 1, five days after the final Twenty20 international, while captain Faf du Plessis and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock are recovering from injuries.
Zondi said the squad had also been selected with a view to giving exposure to players who might be considered for the next World T20 in 2020. First-choice spin bowler Imran Tahir has been rested to give more game time to fellow spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and Aaron Phangiso.
The squad includes two uncapped players in batsman Christiaan Jonker and fast bowler Junior Dala, while wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen is new to T20 internationals.
The selectors also named a South Africa A team to play against the Australians in Benoni from February 22 to 24 in the only warm-up match for the tourists ahead of the Test matches.
Twenty20 squad: JP Duminy (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, AB de Villiers, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.
South Africa A: Khaya Zondo (captain), Theunis de Bruyn, Zubayr Hamza, Beuran Hendricks, Pieter Malan, Wiaan Mulder, Senuran Muthusamy, Duanne Olivier, Rudi Second (wkt), Malusi Siboto, Shaun von Berg.