Cricket

South Africa signals warning bells to India ahead of its tour to Rainbow Nation. How?

[caption id="attachment_38358" align="alignnone" width="580"]South_Africa (2) Cricket South Africa has named Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers, Chris Morris and Temba Bavuma in the SA Invitation XI to play Zimbabwe.[/caption]

Internet Desk: South Africa is not leaving any stone unturned as far as their preparation is concerned for the upcoming test series against India early next year. Cricket South Africa on Tuesday named Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers and Temba Bavuma in the SA Invitation XI to play Zimbabwe in a three-day day/night tour match at Boland Park from December 20 to 22.

All four of them are making a return to multi-day cricket after lengthy injury absences.

Steyn played his last Test for Proteas against Australia in November 2016. After suffering a should injury, the fast bowler was sidelined for almost a year from all forms of cricket. In 85 matches, the 34-year old has taken 417 wickets at an average of 22.30. Regarded as the most fearsome fast bowler, a fit again Steyn will a major threat to the Indians on the bouncy tracks of South Africa.

AB de Villiers, who only played one game at the start of the season will also be given the opportunity to get into long format cricket form.

The match will pave way for Steyn and Morris to prove their fitness levels and make a case for themselves for a contention to be included in the team for the one-off Test between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Port Elizbeth which starts on December 26. De Villiers, who went on a year and half long hiatus from Test cricket will also look to put a case for himself.

“Chris and Dale both missed the first five rounds of the Sunfoil Series through injury while AB was only available for one match,” commented Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi. “This is an ideal opportunity for all three to get back into the multi-day arena.

“These matches also provide opportunities to explore our talent development pipeline. We were very pleased with the way a similar squad performed against Bangladesh when they managed to lead on the first innings with Michael Cohen, Shaun von Berg and Zubayr Hamza being among those who excelled and they will all get another opportunity,” concluded Zondi.

The series between India and South Africa starts on January 3 and will have three Tests, six ODIs, and three T20I. India have already named their squad for the Test series but the Proteas have not yet made an announcement on the squad.

 

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