South Africa have named six uncapped players in their 14-member squad for their first-ever Test match against Australia. The one-off Test will be played in Perth, starting Thursday, February 15.
The Proteas played their last Test against England in June 2022 in Taunton. Marizanne Kapp scored 150 and 43* in the encounter, which eventually ended in a draw. The veteran all-rounder is a part of the 14-woman squad and will look to replicate her heroics from that game. Chloe Tryon, who missed that Test, is back in the squad. Meanwhile, Tazmin Brits, Masabata Klaas, Ayanda Hlubi, Eliz-Mari Marx, Delmi Tucker and Mieke de Ridder are the six uncapped players who have been named in the side.
Laura Wolvaardt, who is the all-format captain of South Africa, is set to lead the side for the first time in Test cricket. She made her debut in the longest format of the game in the Taunton Test and played under Sune Luus, who is also in the squad set to face Alyssa Healy and Co. Anneke Bosch, Nadine de Klerk, Sinalo Jafta, and Nonkululeko Mlaba were all a part of the squad that faced England.
Right-arm pacer Ayabonga Khaka, who is in Australia with South Africa’s ODI squad, has “chosen not to participate in red-ball cricket”, a Cricket South Africa (CSA) statement said.
“It’s a great opportunity for us as a team. It’s [a Test] another one in a while again, so I think especially with the youngsters, they’re very excited to challenge themselves and to test their skills in the longer format and in women’s cricket, it hasn’t been something we’ve been familiar with. We’ve had an opportunity to prepare for it and playing in an iconic stadium, it’s an opportunity that every youngster wants to grab and test their skills against, so it’s exciting times for women’s cricket and one we’re looking forward to as a team,” head coach Hilton Moreeng said.
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Meanwhile, Convenor of selectors Clinton du Preez said that South Africa are looking to give opportunities to the players who have been on the tour to Australia and also try and look for players who can do well for them in the near future in Test cricket.
“We are contemplating strategic adjustments within the batting lineup for the Test match. Additionally, we aim to provide opportunities to players who have been part of the tour, while also assessing prospects for future Test matches. Our focus is on structuring the lineup to achieve the right balance within our squad,” du Preez stated.
“Test cricket introduces an element of excitement, particularly for those players experiencing it for the first time. I look forward to observing the squad members and their performances within the red-ball arena,” he added.
South Africa squad for one-off Test against Australia: Laura Wolvaardt (C), Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Mieke de Ridder, Ayanda Hlubi, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Masabata Klaas, Sune Luus, Eliz-Mari Marx, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Chloe Tryon, Delmi Tucker
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