Pacer Dale Steyn has been included in South Africa’s T20I squad - for the first time in nearly a year - for the three-match series against England.
While Steyn has been included, the likes of Faf du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada have been rested, and there’s still no news about the possible return of AB de Villiers, who has made himself available for the T20 World Cup.
Steyn, whose last T20 international came in March 2019 against Sri Lanka in Centurion, was out of action for several months due to a shoulder injury, but recently featured in Australia’s Big Bash League for Melbourne Stars.
“We are pleased with the group that we have selected for this upcoming T20 series against England. We have once again taken the opportunity to reward some of the hard workers of our domestic franchise system while some of our key senior players continue with their much-needed rest period and we have again, put our faith in Quinton (de Kock) to lead this group of exciting cricketers, picking up where he left off in India where he showed exemplary leadership," CSA Acting Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith said.
“England have of course announced a competitive team and we are comfortable that we have the squad that can take them on and return positive results.
“With a T20 World Cup not too far away, we have begun the process of identifying several players whom we will be looking at over a period of time and hope that by the time September comes along, we will have the best possible squad of 15 representing South Africa.”
Quinton de Kock, on his part, will continue to captain South Africa, while the likes of Pite van Biljon and Sisanda Magala have received maiden call-ups. As for Steyn, who retired from white-ball cricket last year to focus more on the short formats, was part of the Mzansi Super League, where he ended his tenure as the third-highest wicket-taker. A decent return against England then would definitely mean he will in contention for the World Cup.
De Villiers, who retired from international cricket last year, has made himself available for the World Cup, but it is said that his inclusion will solely depend on his returns in the Indian T20 League, which begins on March 29.
Squad: Quinton de Kock (c/wk), Reeza Hendricks, Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts, Beuran Hendricks, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Sisanda Magala, Bjorn Fortuin, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Christiaan Kotze