Smith named in Proteas’ squads for Pak series

PRETORIA: South Africa Test captain Graeme Smith returns to both the Proteas’ Test and ODI squads for the series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates next month.

The skipper has been out of action for the past few months after undergoing ankle surgery, but is expected to be fit and ready for the Tests in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

“We should have a definite picture on the status of Graeme’s recovery from surgery within the next two weeks,” commented CSA Selection Convener Andrew Hudson.

“We will obviously be monitoring Graeme’s condition very carefully and do not want to overload him too much during the early stages of his return.”

Dale Steyn also returns to the ODI squad after making a full recovery from his injuries and Imran Tahir, Wayne Parnell and Vernon Philander have all been recalled to that format.

Hudson added: “Both Imran and Wayne had good tours to Sri Lanka in the T20 series while we want to give Vernon the chance to show us what he can do. He and Wayne are both good lower-order all-rounders and have the ability to contribute significantly in the batting department as well.

“We have retained the 15-man Test squad that has served us so well over the past couple of years. They have impressed not just with the results but with the depth in the squad and a notable feature has been the manner in which players have put up their hands when we have had the inevitable injuries.”

The T20 squad will only be finalised after the Champions League T20 in India.

Test squad: Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile.

ODI squad: AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.