Behardien to lead in T20 as SA ring changes

Farhaan Behardien will captain South Africa for the first time © AFP

Farhaan Behardien will captain a new-look South African T20 outfit in their series against Sri Lanka later this month, which includes six new caps. The 13-man squad for the first two matches has only four members – Behardien, David Miller, Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso – who were part of South Africa’s last T20 matches at the World T20 in March 2016.

Kyle Abbott and David Wiese were not considered because both have recently signed Kolpak deals to play in county cricket, thereby ending their international careers.

The radical changes to the South Africa squad – including resting regular skipper Faf du Plessis and several senior players such as Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada – come as a result of a packed fixture list which has seen scant breaks since last November. South Africa had three weeks between their Tests in Australia to the home series against Sri Lanka and will only have four days between the end of that and their trip to New Zealand. They have identified the shortest format, which does not have a major tournament coming up until at least 2018, as the area they can afford to experiment in.

“We have decided to rest some of our key senior players for this series,” Linda Zondi, convener of selector said. “This is the last chance we have to do this as the ODI series that follows is an important part of our build-up to the Champions Trophy tournament in England in the middle of the year.

“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.”

More to follow…

South Africa T20 squad: Farhaan Behardien (capt), Theunis de Bruyn, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heino Kuhn, David Miller, Mangaliso Mosehle, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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