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Maharaj, Morkel gets call up to Proteas’ ICC Champions 15-man squad

BY MARC JACOBSON - APRIL 19, 2017
Maharaj, Morkel gets call up to Proteas’ ICC Champions 15-man squad

Keshav Maharaj is set to make his ODI debut for the Proteas’ after being included in the squad for their warm-up tour against England, before the ICC Champions Trophy campaign held in England in the beginning of June.

Maharaj became very pronounced after the resilience he showed with the ball in South Africa’s recent Test tour against New Zealand, and as a result earned the call-up to bolster the spin bowling ranks alongside number one ICC ODI bowler, Imran Tahir, in the 15-man squad.

The 26-year-old spinner topped the wicket tally count with a total 15 wickets against New Zealand, while also accumulating the best bowling average for his side with an average of 19.93.

Seemingly having paved his way to play the limited overs game, Maharaj, partnered by Tahir, can heed some much-added value to the Proteas’ bowling prospects.

Morne Morkel also returns to the ODI squad for the first time in almost a year, after also outing for the Proteas Test side against the Black Caps.

Morkel will buttress the Proteas’ already such threatening pace attack featuring Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell, Chris Morris, Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo.

Unsurprisingly, with almost all at stake at a chance for the Proteas to win their first ever silverware, CSA Convener of Selectors, Linda Zondi, expressed that the strongest squad has been selected, with their number one ODI ranking nothing of a factor ahead of the eight-team tournament.

“We have been working with this group of players for the last two seasons where our key emphasis has been consitency in selection,” Zondi told SuperSport.

“We feel we have a squad that covers every scenario that we could possibly be faced with on the tour. Most importantly, every player knows and understands their role and value within the squad,” Zondi added.

“Keshav has had an expectional debut season for the test side and his inclusion in the squad gives us a spinner with a different skills and extra batting depth. We have seen how important it is to bat deep in ODI cricket; this option will give us that cover if needed.”

South Africa is playing their first of three ODI’s against England on the 24th of May, as well as two further one-day warm-ups against Sussex and Northants respectively.

They play their first ICC Champions Trophy match against Sri Lanka on June the 3rd.

Image: Keshav Maharaj.