Boeta Dippenaar will lead a strong South Africa A team in two 4 day games in Zimbabwe over the next 2 weeks.
The squad contains a host of players with international experience and seems to be a combination of fringe and current full squad members.
The inclusion of Andre Nel, Charl Langeveld, Andrew Hall. Ashwell Prince, Paul Harris and Hashim Amla, all usually members of the Test squad, seems to suggest that they wont be part of the Twenty20 World Cup squad due to be announced in Cape Town on Saturday. If they were part of that squad then surely they would be in Cape Town this weekend and not playing in Zimbabwe?
So if we can guess that those picked for these matches will almost certainly miss out on selection for the Twenty20 squad then Morne van Wyk can count himself very unlucky to be in Zimbabwe. While his inclusion may indicate that he is in the minds of the selectors for Test selection, the fact that he has been the outstanding batsman in domestic Pro 20 should have surely guaranteed his selection for Septembers show piece. At the same time the exclusion of Vernon Philander seems to suggest that he will make Saturdays squad selection.He should be a very exciting, useful option during the tournament.
While noting that the likes of Nel, Hall, Amla, Prince, Harris and Langeveld have been included to get their season off to a start, with a series to Pakistan following directly after the Twenty20, another interesting observation is the spin options in the 14 man squad. Paul Harris, who played in the last Test series against India, in joined by Johan Botha as well as spin options from Imran Khan and Justin Ontong. So while the selectors must be applauded for attempting to rectify South Africas well known spin problem we have to ask why Thandi Tshabalala has not been included? If he is seen as the future of South African spin bowlers then surely he needs as much exposure as possible before being included in the Test squad? This is what A team’s are for.
The selectors have also stated that Neil Mckenzie was not selected as they feel his stint with Somerset in County Cricket would benefit him more. Thus allaying any fears that Mckenzie was once again over looked and is not in their plans.
The full squad is: Boeta Dippenaar (capt), Yusuf Abdullah, Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Andrew Hall, Paul Harris, Imran Khan, Charl Langeveldt, Andrè Nel, Justin Ontong, Alviro Petersen, Ashwell Prince, Thami Tsolekile (wk), Mornè van Wyk.