Cricket South Africa on Thursday announced a 14-man squad for the first two one-day internationals against Pakistan. The 5-match ODI series begins on January 19 in Port Elizabeth. Top-order batsman Rassie van der Dussen, who plays for domestic side Highveld Lions, has got a maiden call up in the ODI side. The 29-year old has featured in two T20 Internationals for South Africa. He made his debut against Zimbabwe in October 2018. Dussen was also the leading run-scorer in the recent Mzansi Super League T20 tournament.
Following the 5-match ODI series against Pakistan, South Africa will play another 5-match ODI series against Sri Lanka which will be their final preparations before the much-anticipated Cricket World Cup begins in England and Wales from May 30.
Coach Otis Gibson had also indicated that series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be effectively a warm-up for the World Cup squad. However, selection convener Linda Zondi said there was still a degree of experimentation.
"We need to look at all the options available to us as we get closer to selecting our final squad for the World Cup," said Zondi.
He said Van der Dussen and fast bowler Dane Paterson, recalled to the one-day squad for the first time since 2017, were two players who have been "knocking strongly on the door in all formats".
Zondi said other players could get opportunities in the last three matches against Pakistan. Batsman JP Duminy and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi were not considered because of injury.
South African squad: Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Dane Paterson, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen.
January 19, Port Elizabeth
January 22, Durban
January 25, Centurion
January 27, Johannesburg
January 30, Cape Town
(With AFP inputs)