De Kock jumps the queue
THE national cricket selectors took another leap of faith with Quinton de Kock yesterday by naming him in the squad to play three one-day internationals against New Zealand.
De Kock, who turned 20 last month and has played only 16 first-class and 29 list A matches, has been fast-tracked past every other wicketkeeper-batsman in the country.
He has cracked the nod for the one-dayers against the Black Caps despite scoring just 30 runs against them in two Twenty20 innings.
The Titans' Heino Kuhn scored more runs and had a better batting average than De Kock in the domestic One-Day Cup.
Aaron Phangiso, Farhaan Behardien and Rory Kleinveldt are the other players in the squad who have not been capped in one-day internationals.
However, Kleinveldt has played two Tests and Phangiso and Behardien have also represented South Africa at T20 level.
Missing from the group that did duty in the drawn one-day series in England in August and September are Wayne Parnell, Albie Morkel and JP Duminy, who have wrist, ankle and Achilles injuries respectively, and Dean Elgar, Justin Ontong, Ryan McLaren and Imran Tahir.
Jacques Kallis did not play in that series and will also not be part of the rubber against the Kiwis in accordance with Cricket SA's plan to wheel him out only in more important one-day matches.
Kallis's next appearance in a one-day shirt is likely to be at the Champions Trophy in England in May, when South Africa will again chase the one accolade that has eluded them - a trophy in a significant International Cricket Council event.
"We only have the three ODI matches against New Zealand plus another five against Pakistan to prepare our squad for the Champions Trophy," selection convener Andrew Hudson said in a CSA statement.
"The Champions Trophy also marks the halfway point to the next World Cup, so this is a critical part of our preparation to win these two major events."
Hudson said Duminy should recover in time to be part of the squad for the Champions Trophy.
Colin Ingram, meanwhile, returns to the squad after last playing for South Africa in the one-day format against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers last January.
Squad: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, Colin Ingram, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Robbie Peterson, Aaron Phangiso, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.