Lungi Ngidi has been named in the ODI squad for the upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka, South Africa’s last before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Ngidi missed the entirety of the home series against Pakistan and the Tests against Sri Lanka after sustaining a knee injury in the one-off T20I during the tour of Australia in November 2018.
Also, included in the 14-man list for the first three games of the series is 25-year-old tearaway quick Anrich Nortje. The squad contains only five pure batsman with Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius filling in as all-rounders.
Squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen
“It is great to have Lungi back in the squad after a lengthy period on the sidelines caused by the injury he suffered in the white ball series in Australia last year,” CSA National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi said. “His recent form for the Titans in the Momentum One-Day Cup has been most impressive and he is clearly match fit for international cricket again.”
Nortje came to the spotlight during last year’s Mzansi Super League, when he claimed eight wickets from three games at an economy of 6.91. His ability to bowl at high pace earned him an INR 20 lakh IPL deal with Kolkata Knight Riders despite being sidelined subsequently with an ankle injury.
“Anrich has also come back well from injury and we want to see what he can offer the Proteas after his highly impressive form in the Mzansi Super League. Outright pace is not something that you can coach, and he looks another exciting addition to our pace arsenal,” Zondi said.
Zondi confirmed that veteran batsman Amla, who scored a hundred and a half-century in the five-match series against Pakistan, had only been rested. However, the position of Aiden Markram, who last played an ODI in November 2018 in Australia, is unclear. JP Duminy, who underwent a shoulder surgery in October still awaits a clearance, with the team management hoping to feature him in the final two games of this series to test his readiness ahead of the World Cup.
“Those players who were in the squad against Pakistan but who have been left out this time have not been dropped. We need to use the first part of this series to examine all the options that are available to us,” explained Mr. Zondi. “We know, for example, what Hashim Amla has to offer us and he remains a senior member of our squad.
“We are also hopeful that the last remaining Protea on the injury list, JP Duminy, will be available for the last two matches against Sri Lanka,” concluded Mr. Zondi.