Matthew Breetzke gets maiden Test call-up as SA name squad for Windies tour

by IANS |

Johannesburg, July 8 (IANS) South Africa have handed a maiden Test call-up to batter Matthew Breetzke as they announced a 16-member squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against West Indies, starting on August 7 in Trinidad and Tobago.


Breetzke impressed in last season’s domestic four-day competition with 322 runs at an average of 46, including a top score of 188. He also led South Africa A in a four-day match against India A in December.


Wicketkeeper-batter Ryan Rickelton will make his return to the red-ball setup for the first time since South Africa hosted the West Indies in March 2023.


David Bedingham, Dane Paterson, and Dane Piedt are the only members of South Africa's improvised team that visited New Zealand in February and have been named in the squad. All-rounder Marco Jansen has been rested for the series.


The two-match Test series, which is part of the ICC World Test Championship, will be South Africa’s first in the Caribbean since June 2021, which saw them claim a 2-0 series win over the hosts.


Proteas Test head coach Shukri Conrad revealed the reason behind Jansen's absence and also highlighted the importance of the tour.


"We have one new face in the squad, Matthew Breetzke, who is selected on the back of an excellent past season. The decision to rest Marco Jansen was taken to allow for a conditioning period aimed at ensuring optimal physical and mental well-being given the season-long workloads," he said in a statement.


"We are looking forward to returning to Test cricket after a busy period of limited-overs cricket over the past few months. This tour is extremely important for us as we aim to improve our standing in the ICC World Test Championship. We have therefore selected our strongest possible squad and look forward to strong performances in the Caribbean.


"Half of our squad will be part of a camp to be held in Durban next week," concluded Conrad.


South Africa Test squad: Temba Bavuma (c), David Bedingham, Matthew Breetzke, Nandre Burger, Gerald Coetzee, Tony de Zorzi, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Tristan Stubbs, Ryan Rickelton, Kyle Verreynne.

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