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Du Plessis, Rabada, Nortje return to South Africa squad for Australia T20Is
South Africa News

Du Plessis, Rabada, Nortje return to South Africa squad for Australia T20Is

Kagiso Rabada has returned to spearhead South Africa's pace attack after being named in the T20I squad for the upcoming three-match series against Australia.

Former skipper Faf du Plessis has also earned a recall, following his decision to step down as South Africa's Test and T20I captain.

Anrich Nortje, leading wicket-taker for the Proteas during their four-game Test series against England, makes a comeback to the T20I unit to strengthen the pace bowling department.

Reeza Hendricks, Beuran Hendricks and Sisanda Magala have been dropped from the squad despite Reeza and the uncapped Magala failing to get a game in the England series.

England emerged victorious over South Africa by a close margin of 2-1, taking the hosts' tally of series defeats to seven losses on the trot.

Given the manner in which the home side narrowly failed to overpower England in the last two T20Is, the selectors have opted to retain the core group of players.

“The T20 series may not have been won but it was really pleasing to see our batting unit play so well. They showed a lot of aggression, particularly upfront, in every match which set a good foundation for the rest of the line-up to follow," said Independent Selector Linda Zondi.

There is, however, a renewed focus on padding the bowling resources since South Africa conceded in excess of 200 twice against the power-packed England batting combination.

“We are happy with the team we have finalized. We are confident that the return of KG and Anrich will provide the boost that the bowling unit needs to return to its dangerous ways and the experience of Faf will add an extra dimension to the batting unit’s already fledgling prowess," Zondi added.

Doubts linger over Temba Bavuma's fitness as he was forced to leave the field due to a right hamstring injury amidst the Centurion T20I.

Although there is no official confirmation on Bavuma's availability, the Proteas boast plenty of options to fill in for the 29-year-old in the opening slot alongside Quinton de Kock.

Du Plessis' return adds a layer of experience to the young squad, opening up the possibility of the veteran being included in the team for the T20 World Cup.

South Africa's T20I battle with Australia commences on Friday in Johannesburg. The other two games will be held at Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

South Africa squad

Quinton de Kock (c & wk), Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Pite van Biljon, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Bjorn Fortuin, Anrich Nortje, Dale Steyn, Heinrich Klaasen