ICL: Indian Cricket League

Injured Smith returns to one-day squad


smithIt’s hard to carry momentum with you for nine months but that’s the task South Africa have ahead of them after winning the third Test against Australia in Cape Town. Their next Test assignment is not until December 16, when they host England in Centurion for the first of a four-Test series.

The only international action they have between the upcoming ODI series against Australia and the visit of England will be the World Twenty20 in England in June and the Champions Trophy in September. However, Jacques Kallis, the stand-in captain who oversaw their victory by an innings and 20 runs at Newlands, said the Test players would still take heart from the dead-rubber win.

“It’s a huge plus,” Kallis said. “To turn it around from losing two games in a row, we knew we had to gain momentum and gain confidence in us as a side with England coming here in [nine] months time.

“But still you do take the confidence out of your last game to the end of the year. The guys will go into it a lot mentally better prepared than if we’d played poorly in this Test match as well.”

Despite the long gap between Tests there were men in the Cape Town match potentially playing to hold down a spot, including the debutants Imraan Khan and Albie Morkel. Ashwell Prince was also keen to impress in his return to the side and succeeded spectacularly, scoring 150 in the unfamiliar role of opener.

South Africa will plan on having their captain Graeme Smith back for their next Test series after a broken hand ruled him out at Newlands and it will leave the selectors with plenty to ponder throughout the year. In the meantime they have named a 14-man squad for the first two ODIs against Australia.

It features the injured Smith and Kallis, both of whom they hope will be fit by the time the series begins on April 3. The group is largely the same unit that won the one-day series in Australia, where Johan Botha captained the side in Smith’s absence, although Neil McKenzie has been dropped and Lonwabo Tsotsobe was unavailable due to his knee injury.

Squad for first two ODIs Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Mark Boucher (wk), Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Johan Botha, Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell, Makhaya Ntini.

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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