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Smuts solitude Warriors’ selection call-up for Proteas debut

BY MARC JACOBSON - JANUARY 10, 2017
Smuts solitude Warriors’ selection call-up for Proteas debut

The Warriors’ Jon-Jon Smuts is one of six new caps named in the Proteas squad of 13 to face a three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka - beginning on the 20th of January at SuperSport Park, Centurion.

Smuts is also the only Warriors representative in the whole squad, and his selection comes after a standout season for the franchise in the domestic T20 Challenge tournament where he scored the most runs in the tournament. He also achieved the second highest total of the tournament when he scored a career-best 107 not out against the Dolphins in early December, while finishing the tournament with a strike rate of 144.35.

Captaining the side for the first two T20 matches is Farhaan Behardien from the Titans, who also produced some phenomenal form with the bat over the T20 Challenge campaign after obtaining the highest average of 117.33. The five other new caps in the Proteas T20 squad are: Theunis de Bruyn, Mangaliso Mosehle, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dane Paterson and Lungi Ngidi.

In a relatively diluted squad of the regular front-line players, CSA Selection Convener, Linda Zondi, commented that some of the key players are being rested for this series to accommodate for a strategical standpoint, as the squad heads into the ODI series and then the ICC Champions Trophy following the Sri Lankan T20 series.

“This is the last chance we have to do this as the Momentum ODI series that follows is an important part of our build-up to the ICC Champions Trophy Tournament in England in the middle of the year,” Zondi told SuperSport News.

“Those senior players who are involved in the Indian Premier League will be playing non-stop from now until the end of August with the tours coming up to New Zealand and England in addition to the ICC event,” Zondi added.

David Wiese was also set to see selection into the squad, but had recently signed a Kolpak contract to play in England and has therefore been withdrawn from the Proteas’ fold.

Full Proteas’ T20 squad: Farhaan Behardien (Multiply Titans, capt), Theunis de Bruyn (VKB Knights), Reeza Hendricks (bizhub Highveld Lions), Imran Tahir (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Heino Kuhn (Multiply Titans), David Miller (VKB Knights), Mangaliso Mosehle (bizhub Highveld Lions), Lungi Ngidi (Multiply Titans), Wayne Parnell (BuildNat Cape Cobras), Dane Paterson (BuildNat Cape Cobras), Aaron Phangiso (bizhub Highveld Lions), Andile Phehlukwayo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Jon-Jon Smuts (Warriors).

Image: JJ Smuts