2-year-old Gerald Coetzee earned his maiden international call-up as South Africa named a 16-man squad for the three-match Test series against Australia, starting 17 December.

The young pacer, who made his first-class debut in 2019, has impressed at the domestic level, picking up 40 wickets at 28.82 in his 13 matches so far. Just two months ago he was picked up by Johannesburg Super Kings for the upcoming CSA T20 League, under the leadership of Faf du Plessis.

The three-match Test series forms a part of the ICC World Test Championship 2023.

A couple of big names also return for the Proteas, most notably batter Rassie van der Dussen, who was suffering from an injured finger that forced him out of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

Also returning is middle-order batter Theunis de Bruyn, who last played a Test in October 2019. The 30-year-old has 12 Tests to his name and has scored 428 runs, including a hundred against Sri Lanka.

Keshav Maharaj, who sustained a low-grade groin injury in the T20 World Cup, has been cleared for the tour.

Missing from the list are wicket-keeper Ryan Rickelton, who played in South Africa’s last Test series (against England) in September and is now suffering from an ankle injury and top-order batter Keegan Petersen, who is out with a hamstring injury.

Rickelton has been replaced by Heinrich Klaasen.

“We are pleased with the group of players that have been assembled for this tour. I think the selectors now have a core group of Proteas that has been built and it is just about building on what we have,” National Convenor of Selectors Victor Mpitsang said.

“There is a welcome return for our vice-captain Temba after his injury and we are also happy to have Rassie back too following his finger injury in England. I am especially excited about our pace attack, which is no doubt growing in stature and strength.

“Overall, all the players selected undoubtedly have the ability to play at the highest level, and evidence of that is our standing on the ICC World Test Championship table. We are confident that if they play to their ability, we can challenge Australia in their conditions.

“We would like to wish the players well for the tour and look forward to an exciting and competitive series.”

South Africa will play a four-day unofficial match against Cricket Australia XI from 9 to 12 December. The first Test begins from 17 December at The Gabba in Brisbane.

South Africa Test squad: Dean Elgar (c), Temba Bavuma, Gerald Coetzee, Theunis de Bruyn, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Khaya Zondo

Schedule:

17-21 December 2022 – First Test, The Gabba, Brisbane

26-30 December 2022 – Second Test, MCG, Melbourne

04-08 January 2023 – Third Test, SCG, Sydney

Source : ICC

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