Thursday 28 February 2008 

South Africa To Rest Senior Players For Bangladesh ODIs

Senior players Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Makhaya Ntini will be rested for South Africa's limited-over series against Bangladesh, team officials said on Thursday.

Captain Graeme Smith will, however, lead the side in the three-match series starting in Chittagong on March 9, despite speculation that he would return home due to a nagging knee injury.

"Our forthcoming tour of India will be a very tough assignment and, with an eye on that, we believe resting Kallis, Boucher and Ntini will be extremely beneficial," selection convenor Joubert Strydom said.

Coach Mickey Arthur told Reuters they had considered resting Smith as well.

"The question is how we handle Graeme's workload. But with three senior players gone, we really do need some experience to guide the younger players," Arthur said.

"We do have a very young batting line-up which could be a worry because it is hard work here in the sub-continent, but one-day cricket is where you can give opportunities to players."

Top-order batsman Hashim Amla and left-arm spinner Paul Harris are the only new caps in the 14-man squad. Both are regular members of the test team, although Harris missed the series against Bangladesh due to minor surgery.

It is South Africa's first limited-overs series since the retirement of reliable seam bowler Shaun Pollock and Arthur said they were looking at all-rounders Albie Morkel and Vernon Philander as long-term replacements.

South Africa Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Albie Morkel, Vernon Philander, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel, Charl Langeveldt, Dale Steyn, Andre Nel, Paul Harris, Alviro Petersen.

© Reuters 2008

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