Botha recalled to Proteas Test squad

Off-spinner Johan Botha and left-arm fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe were on Monday named in a 15-man South African squad for two Test matches in India next month.

India recently took over the number one place in the International Cricket Council Test rankings from South Africa, who remain in second place.

The Test matches will be played in Nagpur and Kolkata. The South African team departs on January 30.

Botha and Tsotsobe were added to the 13-man squad that was picked for the fourth and final Test against England in Johannesburg in which South Africa levelled the series with a win by an innings and 74 runs.

Batsman Alviro Petersen and left-arm spin bowler Paul Harris, who were not selected for the final XI in Johannesburg, will also be touring.

Botha, a regular in the one-day squad, returns to the Test squad for the first time since a tour of Bangladesh in 2008. Tsotsobe was a member of the South African team that toured Australia last year.

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“It is important to have a second specialist spin bowling option for a Test series on the Asian sub-continent,” said selection convenor Mike Procter.

“We feel this squad covers all our tactical options.”

There was no place for Makhaya Ntini, who was dropped after the second Test against England.

Free-scoring batsman Herschelle Gibbs returns to the national team for the first time since the World Twenty20 in England in June 2009 as part of a 15-man squad for three one-day internationals in India which will follow the Test series.

Gibbs, who will turn 36 during the tour, has been in good form in domestic one-day cricket.

Loots Bosman, another hard-hitting batsman, has also been called up. He hit 94 in a Twenty20 international against England in November but did not play in the one-day series.

“We feel that Bosman gives us an explosive hitting option up front and this will be the ideal opportunity for him to show his worth on the sub-continent where next year’s World Cup will be played,” said Procter.

Test squad:
Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Paul Harris, Jacques Kallis, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Ashwell Prince, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

ODI squad:
Smith, Loots Bosman, Botha, Boucher, De Villiers, Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Kallis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Parnell, Petersen, Steyn, Tsotsobe, Roelof van der Merwe. — AFP

Colin Bryden
Colin Bryden
Semi-active journalist and editor SA Cricket Annual.
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