Boucher: Faf du Plessis still in South Africa ODI plans

Former skipper not in latest squad

Faf du Plessis batting for South Africa

Former captain Faf du Plessis is still in South Africa’s ODI plans, according to head coach Mark Boucher.

Du Plessis wasn’t named in the 15-man ODI squad to face Australia and also missed the previous series against England.

He continues to be rested along with Dwaine Pretorius and Rassie van der Dussen. All three will not feature in the upcoming three-match series.

That follows the final T20I contest between the sides at Newlands. South Africa are priced at 2.50 (6/4) with bet365 to win the series decider. Australia are favourites at 1.53 (8/15).

Explaining the absence of du Plessis, Boucher said: “With the completion of the 2019 Cricket World Cup and the next one being three years away from now, we always saw the series against England and Australia as an opportunity to play some fresh talent,” head coach Mark Boucher said. “If we feel that we need to rest players, we will, as we have done in the recent past.

“Faf (du Plessis) has been fantastic for us in white-ball cricket and remains very much in our ODI plans and we will manage his workload for the near future diligently. I would like to strengthen our depth pool right now and see what players we have out there. I feel that this is the time and opportunity to do so.”

Maharaj returns to one-day fold

Spinner Keshav Maharaj has returned to South Africa's ODI squad for the Australia series, which begins in Paarl on February 29.

It is the first time he’s been selected since 2018 but he has impressed in domestic white-ball cricket.

Selector Luke Zondi said: “We are pleased to call up Keshav (Maharaj), who has done really well with the white ball over an extended period of time in the domestic franchise competitions of CSA.

“His experience, the extra spin option he provides us as well as the added contributions he makes with the bat and with fielding will be welcomed additions to the team.”

Zondi excited by youthful Proteas squad

Zondi is also eager to see what the young squad can do when tested by the Aussies.

He added: “We are excited to see what will come from the selections we have made ahead of this latest series against Australia. It is again another young squad that sees the absence of some senior players in Faf, Rassie (van der Dussen) and Dwaine (Pretorius), while we balance the workloads of individuals ahead of an extremely busy year and a bit for the Proteas men.

“At the same time, it is a good opportunity to give younger and less experienced players an opportunity to show us what they've got to offer when the spotlight is fully on them.

“We have every confidence in their capabilities and potential, which is why we have backed them to take on the task of playing this formidable Australian side.”

South Africa ODI Squad: Quinton de Kock (c & wk), Temba Bavuma, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Jon-Jon Smuts, Anrich Nortje, Lutho Sipamla, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Verreynne

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Chris is passionate about all forms of cricket and loves writing about the sport. He has a background in both sport and news journalism and has written cricket and other sports content for several years now. Chris has written about all levels of the game from regional club cricket in England to the international stage. He now brings that experience to the iGaming industry where he combines it with his love of betting. Chris loves to bet on many different sports, but particularly enjoys seeking out the best value bets on offer and passing that on through his coverage.