AB de Villiers, Morris return to ODI squad; Ngidi gets maiden ODI call-up

New Zealand v South Africa
de Villiers will captain the ODI side against Sri Lanka

AB de Villiers is back in the South Africa national set-up and returns as player and captain of the South Africa squad for the first three One Day Internationals (ODIs) of the five-match series against Sri Lanka. Chris Morris, who missed the series against Australia last year, also returns to the squad after recovering from a knee injury. De Villiers was also included in the squad for the third T20I.
This is the first time the duo has been in action in ODI cricket since the tri-series against the West Indies and Australia in the middle of last year. Fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel could not be considered because of their injuries while fellow fast bowler Lungi Ngidi is in line to win his first cap in this format.
“We have chosen this squad for the first three games only,” commented Cricket South Africa (CSA) selection convener, Linda Zondi. “It is wonderful to have AB back available both as player and leader. We are entering a very important phase of our preparation for the Champions Trophy Tournament in England as we only have 10 games left the five here against Sri Lanka and another five in New Zealand before we head for another major ICC event. The ODI squad is in very good space at the moment after the clean sweep over Australia, but Sri Lanka will pose another stiff challenge.”
Lungisani Ngidi has been one of South Africa’s finds recently, having performed exceptionally in the two T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka. He was talked up as a potential future star, and his call-up to the ODI squad only further enhances that reputation.
“Ngidi has been rewarded for his excellent form in the current KFC T20 International Series and we are keen to see how he goes in the 50 overs format. He has not only impressed with the wickets he has taken and the skills he has displayed but with the energy and intensity he has brought to his game as well,” Zondi added.
South Africa’s last ODI series came at home against Australia, where they delivered a 5-0 crushing of the visitors. Kyle Abbott, Rillee Russouw, Dale Steyn and Aaron Phangiso from the squad that played Australia have not been included for the Sri Lanka ODIs.
While Abbott and Russouw have signed Kolpak deals with Hampshire, making them ineligible for national team selection, Steyn is yet to regain full fitness. South Africa have gone for more pace and included Dwayne Pretorius in Phangiso’s place.
“The emergence of players such as Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kesh Maharaj and Dwaine Pretorius show just how well our development pipeline and our franchise system is working,” concluded Zondi.
South Africa squad for first three ODIs v Sri Lanka: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi
Saturday, January 28 – 1st ODI at St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth
Wednesday, February 1 – 2nd ODI at Kingsmead, Durban
Saturday, February 4 – 3rd ODI at Wanderers, Johannesburg
Tuesday, February 7 – 4th ODI at Newlands, Cape Town
Friday, February 10 – 5th ODI at SuperSport Park, Centurion


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