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Rising star Rabada gets South Africa Test call

Kagiso Rabada is promoted to the senior Test squad a year after starring in the under -19 World Cup.
Kagiso Rabada is promoted to the senior Test squad a year after starring in the under -19 World Cup. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

South African selectors named the squads on Thursday for the two month tour of India. There was an intriguing choice with the inclusion in the Test squad for the first time of fast bowler Kagiso Rabada. The 20-year-old is being groomed for great things.


Rabada was among the anointed to play in India in October and November.

He gets his chance in the senior group a year after distinguishing himself as one of the stars of the under-19 cricket world cup in Dubai.

He finished with the second highest number of wickets - including 6 for 25 against Australia in the semi-finals - as South Africa claimed the trophy for the first time.

When he was picked for his first one day international (ODI) against Bangladesh in Mirpur in July, he added his name to the record books by becoming only the second player to take a hat-trick on his debut.

He returned 6 for 16 - the best figures by a bowler on ODI debut.

At the other end of the pace scale, selectors included three specialist spin bowlers for the tour which will include four Test matches as well as five ODIs and three T20s.

Simon Harmer, who played in the recent series in Bangladesh, will be joined by fellow off-spinner Dane Piedt. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir has been recalled.

The biggest surprise in the 15-man Test squad is the absence of wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock.

Selector Linda Zondi said Dane Vilas, who played in the second Test against Bangladesh last month, would retain the gloves.

De Kock, who struggled to regain his best batting form after being injured during the first Test against the West Indies in Centurion last season, was dropped after being dismissed for for no runs in the first Test in Bangladesh.

However he was included in the squads for the T20 games and the ODIs.

"It is very important that we maintain consistency in our selections and Dane hardly had the chance to make his mark in Bangladesh where the series was so badly disrupted by the weather," said Zondi.

Piedt made an outstanding Test debut against Zimbabwe in Harare in August 2014, taking a wicket with his first ball and going on to claim match figures of eight for 152. But he suffered a serious shoulder injury at the start of the 2014/15 season.

He showed he had recovered full fitness during the recent second XI tour of India when he took 11 wickets in three innings.

"I believe we have covered all our bases by having both holding and attacking spin options in our squad," said Zondi.

"It is good to have Dane back from his injury and Imran was our number one spinner for our last Test series on the sub-continent against Sri Lanka in 2014."


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