McLaren Gets His Chance

South Africa named 3 squads for the upcoming home series against Bangladesh and Kenya. The 3 squads announced are for the T20, ODI and Test matches.

There are two new caps in the squads, with Ryan McLaren picked in the ODI squad and Rory Kleinveld in the T20 squad, while Andre Nel fails to make any of the squads, and Makaya Ntini features in only the Test squad.

Ryan McLaren, the Eagles all rounder, has had a solid few seasons for the Free State based franchise, but it has been the impact he has made as a Kolpak player with Kent in the English County Cricket that has seen his stock really rise. There are a few issues still to be ironed out, with McLaren needing to be released by Kent from his Kolpak contract in order to play for South Africa, but CSA feel this should not be a problem. The form that McLaren has shown over the last season and a bit with Kent has prompted talk of him following the KP route  and qualifying to play for England in a few years. South Africa will be loath to have that happen again and will make sure they tie the all rounder down as a South African player.

The recent hammering the ODI team received at the back end of the England tour highlighted the massive gap left by the retirement of legend Shaun Pollock. The hope is that McLaren will help to fill this void. The lack of all rounders, who have been a strong feature of South African cricketing strength in the past with the likes of Kallis, Klusner, Pollock and McMillan, has lead to South Africa playing with a longer than usual tail. Vernon Philander has featured in a few games but has yet to transfer his outstanding domestic form to the international stage. The position is there to be taken, and McLaren will get his chance to show that he is the man for the job.

Rory Kleinveld, the Cape Cobra’s all rounder, will also have a chance to make his international debut if he features in the T20 game on November the 5th in Johannesburg against Bangladesh.

Johan Botha, the South African ODI spin bowler, has been named as captain for the early part of the series, with Graeme Smith still recovering from his elbow injury sustained in England. Smith is expected to be back before the end of the series.

Ntini’s form in ODI cricket has not been great this season, and his dropping may be just what is needed to give him time to recharge his batteries. Another view is that his omission is designed to prolong his Test career, by ensuring that he plays less cricket, and will also give new, younger, players an opportunity to press for places.

JP Duminy is the only uncapped player in the Test squad and this is the ideal opportunity for the selectors to give the young batsman his first Test cap, something they had the chance to, and failed to do, against England in the final Test, which was a dead rubber. Lets hope Duminy gets the chance to play in both Tests this time.

The squads are:

Test squad (for two Tests against Bangladesh) Graeme Smith (capt), Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher (wk), Paul Harris, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn, Monde Zondeki.

ODI squad (for two ODIs against Kenya and three against Bangladesh) Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, JP Duminy, Ryan McLaren, Mark Boucher (wk), Justin Ontong, Johan Botha, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Monde Zondeki.

Twenty20 squad (for one-off match against Bangladesh) Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Loots Bosman, JP Duminy, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, Justin Ontong, Johan Botha, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn.

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