South Africa have called up all rounder Wiaan Mulder to their squad for the two test series against Sri Lanka at home later this month. The 20 year old is the only addition to the squad that convincingly beat Pakistan 3-0 at home.
Against Pakistan, South Africa fielded a 4 man attack in the form of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier and Keshav Maharaj in the opener at Centurion. Olivier, who only got into the XI because of Vernon Philander’s injury, effectively made himself undroppable with a 11fer at SuperSport Park. When Philander returned, they chose to go with an all pace attack in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, with Maharaj having to make way.
In the third test at the Wanderers, the Proteas were without skipper Faf du Plessis, which allowed Zubayr Hamza to make his debut. The Cobras batsman gave a decent account of himself on debut, and it could well be a shoot out between him and Theunis de Bruyn as to whom makes way when the captain comes back.
De Bruyn has impressed in patches, and was the only South African to score a century in their tour of Sri Lanka last year. His cause hasn’t been helped by being dropped frequently and moved up and down the order, and it remains to be seen whether he’s given another chance. A tour at home against a side that can be at best described as decent in South African conditions (with all due respect to South Africa), could do wonders for his confidence. However the games aren’t being played on the Highveldt, with the first test to be held at Kingsmead and the second at St.George’s Park.
Mulder was also in South Africa’s squad for the limited overs series against Pakistan, but only played one ODI (the series decider in Cape Town when the Proteas fielded three all rounders) and didn’t feature in any of the three T20’s.
Sri Lanka have made wholesale changes to their squad, with Dimuth Karunaratne replacing Dinesh Chandimal as captain after a horror tour of Australia. There are four uncapped players in their squad- Lasith Embuldeniya, Mohamed Shiraz, Angelo Perera and Oshada Fernando.
Proteas test squad v Sri Lanka 2019:- Faf du Plessis (capt), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn
Sri Lanka squad v South Africa 2019:- Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Niroshan Dickwella, (VC), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kaushal Silva, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dhananjaya De Silva, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Kasun Rajitha, Vishwa Fernando, Chamika Karunaratne, Mohamed Shiraz, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Embuldeniya