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South Africa call-up uncapped Heinrich Klaasen, Wiaan Mulder for first two Tests against Australia

Faf du Plessis will lead the Proteas against Australia
Faf du Plessis will lead the Proteas against Australia
©REUTERS
 

South Africa have called-up uncapped wicket-keeper batsman Heinrich Klaasen and all-rounder Willem Mulder for the first two Tests against Australia.

Klaasen, who recently made his limited overs debut for the Proteas in the recently concluded series against India scored a blistering match-winning 69-run knock in the second Twenty20 International in Centurion and will remain as a cover to Quinton de Kock after the latter sustained a wrist injury during the series against Virat Kohli's men.

Mulder has played a solitary One-Day International for South Africa that came against Bangladesh in October last year and has 758 first-class runs along with 48 wickets in 16 games. He was also part of the South Africa A squad that recently played a warm-up game against Australia in Benoni.

“Klaasen has been tremendously impressive in the white-ball matches he has played for the Proteas and we firmly believe he can become just as good a player in the five-day format,” said Cricket South Africa selector Linda Zondi.

“He has averaged nearly 50 with the bat in Sunfoil four-day cricket this season and hit two centuries.

“We are also keen to have a back-up wicketkeeper to De Kock in the squad.

“The selection of Mulder continues our strategy to expand our pool of all-rounders against top quality opposition.

“He is a batting all-rounder and his selection will depend on how we decide to balance our starting XI. He has been the top all-rounder in the Sunfoil Series with a batting average of 60 (one century) and 15 wickets at an average of 28.

“It has been very exciting this season to see the way young players have settled into the various Proteas squads and done well and this is a continuation of that policy.”

Meanwhile, Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers and de Kock have all returned back to the squad after missing out on different phases of limited overs series against India due to injuries.

The series will also mark Morne Morkel's last outing in international cricket for the Proteas as he has announced his decision to retire at the culmination of the fourth Test that will end on 3rd April.

South Africa squad for first two Tests:

Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungisani Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.

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