Cricket South Africa have named a 14-member squad filled with fresh faces including their captain-elect Neil Brand for their upcoming two-Test tour of New Zealand in January.
Uncapped Brand leads Proteas' rookie-heavy squad for NZ tour
With the SA20 League tournament clashing during the window of this tour, all prominent South African players have been omitted from this series. Brand, who captained South Africa's A side during their recent series against West Indies A, is among the seven uncapped players in the side that has only three players from the ongoing home series against India.
In terms of experience, Khaya Zondo makes a comeback to the squad along with Dane Paterson and Duanne Olivier who are all returning to the mix after a brief hiatus. While sending such a relatively inexperienced side gives New Zealand the edge going into the series, South Africa's Test coach Shukri Conrad backed the young guns to deliver.
South Africa Squad: Neil Brand (captain), David Bedingham, Ruan de Swardt, Clyde Fortuin, Zubayr Hamza, Tshepo Moreki, Mihlali Mpongwana, Duanne Olivier, Dane Paterson, Keegan Petersen, Dane Piedt, Raynard van Tonder, Shaun von Berg and Khaya Zondo
"Firstly I would like to congratulate the players that will be going on a Proteas tour for the first time," said Conrad. "It is a real honour to represent your country, so they should savour the moment."
"The players picked for this tour have every chance of challenging New Zealand and we have full confidence they will do exactly that when we arrive for the first Test match at Mount Maunganui.
"Most of these guys participated in the recent 'A' series against West Indies where they showed that they have what it takes against players of international calibre. That experience will no doubt leave them in a better position for what we expect to be a testing series in New Zealand."