Faf a better catch for T20 side than Ingram
ALL-ROUNDER Faf du Plessis has edged Colin Ingram in the race for a top-order slot in the Proteas final line-up for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka next month.
The Titans and Chennai Super Kings batsman was the only uncapped player named in South Africa's 15-man squad for the tournament.
South African test skipper Graeme Smith was a notable absentee, although his omission was largely expected.
Jacques Kallis, who was a regular member of the T20 team as far back as 2010, was included following his fine form for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League this year.
He scored 409 runs in 17 matches including 69 off 49 balls in the final to help Riders to the title. The veteran all-rounder also managed 15 wickets in the tournament.
He is expected to open the batting and perform a dual role with the ball.
Captain AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel, all of whom were rested for the unofficial triangular series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in June, return to the squad.
South African selection chief Andrew Hudson said Du Plessis had been chosen ahead of Ingram because he provided an extra option with the ball.
Ingram made 78 against India in South Africa's last official T20 in March and was the highest run-scorer on the tour of Zimbabwe.
"We see value in Faf at the top of the order as well as giving us an option of bowling a few overs in those sort of conditions (in Sri Lanka)," Hudson said yesterday.
"He brings three things to the game. He's quite selective in how he plays, his bowling and his superb fielding."
He said Ingram was not needed as a bowler as Kallis and Richard Levi were on the line-up.
"Jacques moving up the order gives us options. It balances the side nicely and he's also desperate to win a trophy."
The ball is expected to turn in Hambantota, where South Africa will be based for the group stages with hosts Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
Hudson believes South Africa are well-equipped in the spinning department with Johan Botha and Robin Peterson in their armoury.
"We also have JP Duminy, Du Plessis and even Justin Ontong to call on. So we are pretty happy with that.
"We were not able to consider Marchant de Lange through injury," Hudson added. "But we are confident that our squad will be very competitive and make South Africa proud."
The Proteas complete their preparations for the World T20, which starts on September 18, by finishing the tour of England with three T20 matches.
AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Johan Botha, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Jacques Kallis, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.