South Africa will rest first-choice spinner Imran Tahir for the five-match one-day international series in Sri Lanka starting next month as they assess their slow-bowling options ahead of the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
The selectors have picked left-arm spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj to face-off for the second slow bowler role, should one be required, during the World Cup in England and Wales.
“We have taken the strategic decision to rest Imran Tahir so that we can get a clearer picture as to who our best second spinner is to back him up at the World Cup,” Cricket South Africa selection convener Linda Zondi said in a statement on Monday.
“Imran will be our first-choice spinner at the World Cup but, if we play him against Sri Lanka, it is unlikely that we will be able to play both Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj.
“Tabraiz has been the outstanding bowler in franchise white-ball cricket this past season. Keshav has been outstanding for us in red-ball cricket and we need to give him the opportunity to show us what he can do at international level in the ODI format.” South Africa have also included two new caps in seamer Junior Dala and batsman Reeza Hendricks, who have both played Twenty20 Internationals in the past. The series starts on July 29 and concludes on Aug. 12.
Squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Junior Dala, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Wiaan Mulder, Lungisani Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi. (Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by John O’Brien)