Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi and Jon-Jon Smuts have passed fitness tests at CSA’s strength and conditioning camp and will be part of the national squad for the ODI series against England, which starts next Tuesday.
Sisanda Magala, who was also at the camp, has not met requirements and will continue to work with fitness trainer Tumi Masekela with the aim of putting himself into contention for the T20 series which starts on February 12.
“Sisanda has put in an immense amount of work over a short period of time and we want to ensure he has the tools to deal with the high demands of international cricket when the opportunity arises,” Graeme Smith, CSA’s acting director of cricket said. “The Proteas men have an incredibly busy year of limited-overs cricket ahead of them and we want to be certain that our players are up for the demands that will come.”
Magala, who finished sixth on the Mzansi Super League wicket-takers’ list and who is renowned for his death-bowling skills, has been identified as a candidate for this year’s T20 World Cup. However, he has not been able to pass recent fitness tests and will only be eligible for national selection if he meets South Africa’s criteria, something the other three have now done.
ALSO READ: South Africa consider touring Pakistan for three T20Is in March
Smuts was withdrawn from the T20 squad for the tour to India in September last year because of fitness concerns but has now met requirements. So has Shamsi, who is considered South Africa’s first-choice ODI spinner, but faces competition for his place from both Smuts, an allrounder who bowls left-arm spin and Bjorn Fortuin, who could earn his debut cap in the series.
Both Shamsi and Ngidi have been named in the Titans squad to play in the domestic one-day cup opener against the Lions on Friday, after which they will join up with the national squad in Cape Town.
The fixture marks a competitive return for Ngidi, who has not played since the MSL in early December, where he injured his hamstring. Ngidi was not available for selection for the recently concluded Test series against England, which South Africa lost 1-3. He will make his return in shorter formats, where South Africa have a busy schedule ahead with three ODIs and three T20s against each of England and Australia in the next six weeks.