Cape Town - Warriors batsman Christiaan Jonker has been named as a new cap in the Proteas squad for the three-match ODI Series against Zimbabwe which starts at the end of this month.
The squad also features the return of fast bowler Dale Steyn after an injury-enforced layout, whose last appearance in this format was two years ago when he played in four of the five matches in the famous home series whitewash of Australia, as well as first choice spinner Imran Tahir who was rested for the recent Sri Lanka series and who has been in sparkling form in the current Caribbean Premier League T20 competition.
Quinton de Kock and David Miller are being rested to give the selectors the opportunity to explore other options in broadening the talent pool for the World Cup next year.
The selectors have also named teenage talent Matthew Breetzke to join the squad as a learning experience. He represented South Africa at this year's ICC under-19 World Cup in New Zealand and had a good SA Emerging Tour to Sri Lanka.
The T20 Series will see the Proteas debut of Highveld Lions batsman Rassie van der Dussen and Warriors batsman Gihahn Cloete.
Faf du Plessis has been named in both squads, subject to fitness assessments. If he is unable to play in either of them, a replacement captain will be named nearer the time.
"Faf continues to make a recovery from the shoulder injury he suffered in Sri Lanka," commented Dr. Mohammed Moosajee, Proteas manager and team doctor.
"It is a week by week case and a call will be made in due course," he added.
"The selection of Christiaan Jonker is part of the ongoing process of our Vision 2019," commented CSA National Selection Panel (NSP) convener Linda Zondi.
"He had an outstanding debut in the T20 format against India and we want to see whether he can convert that finishing form into the longer white-ball format as well.
"We have also recalled Khaya Zondo to the ODI squad as another part of the pool broadening process. He had an outstanding quadrangular series for SA A in India against high quality opposition, scoring our only century and having a strike rate of 95.
"We still have ODI series after this one against Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as we get closer to finalising our likely World Cup squad.
"We are resting Kagiso Rabada from the T20 Series as he has a very busy season ahead of them.
"Part of our selection strategy," added Zondi, "has been to blood newcomers first at T20 level. We have done this in the past with the likes of Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Reeza Hendricks, Jonker and Junior Dala, and we are continuing that process with Gihahn Cloete and Rassie van der Dussen. Cloete was another to have a strike rate in excess of 90 for SA A in India while Van der Dussen has had an impressive run of form in recent T20 Franchise tournaments around the world.
"Another part of our strategy going forward is to identify exciting, young talent such as Matthew Breetzke and assimilate them into the Protea culture at a young age. We have done this successfully in the past with the likes of Kagiso Rabada, Ngidi and Mulder, among others and this is a continuation of that process.
"Our national captain, Faf du Plessis, will be personally taking Breetzke under his wing."
Proteas ODI squad:
Faf du Plessis (Titans, captain), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Reeza Hendricks (Highveld Lions), Imran Tahir (Dolphins), Christiaan Jonker (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Wiaan Mulder (Highveld Lions), Lungisani Ngidi (Titans), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Dale Steyn (Titans), Khaya Zondo (Dolphins).
Proteas T20 squad:
Faf du Plessis (Titans, captain), Gihahn Cloete (Warriors), Junior Dala (Titans), Quinton de Kock (Titans), JP Duminy (Cape Cobras), Robbie Frylinck (Dolphins), Imraan Tahir (Dolphins), Christiaan Jonker (Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), David Miller (Dolphins), Lungisani Ngidi (Titans), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Rassie van der Dussen (Highveld Lions).
ZIMBABWE TOUR TO SA 2018
September 30: 10:00, 1st ODI, Diamond Oval, Kimberley (Day)
October 3: 13:00, 2nd ODI, Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein (D/N)
October 6: 13:00, 3rd ODI, Boland Park, Paarl (D/N)
October 9: 18:00, 1st T20 International, Buffalo Park, East London (D/N)
October 12: 18:00, 2nd T20 International, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom (D/N)
October 14: 14:30, 3rd T20 International, Willowmoore Park, Benoni (Day)