Breetzke gets maiden Test call-up for West Indies tour; Jansen rested

South Africa
David Bedingham, Dane Paterson and Dane Piedt are the only players from South Africa’s makeshift squad that toured New Zealand in February to be named for their next red-ball assignment, against West Indies in August. While Bedingham is seen as central to the future of South Africa’s long-format batting, Paterson, 35, has been included to add experience in the absence of Anrich Nortje and Marco Jansen, and Piedt, 34, to have a second spinner in addition to Keshav Maharaj.
The rest of the players were all part of South Africa’s home series against India earlier this year with the exception of batter Matthew Breetzke, who has earned his first Test call-up. Breetzke is currently playing for Northants and was part of a South African A side that toured Sri Lanka last year. With Dean Elgar’s recent international retirement, he is expected to provide batting back-up to a top five that will likely include Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma, David Bedingham and Tristan Stubbs.
Wicketkeeper-batter Ryan Rickelton has been recalled after last playing Tests in the home series against West Indies in March 2023 and will compete with incumbent gloveman Kyle Verreynne for a spot at No. 6. The only seam-bowling allrounder in the squad is Wiaan Mulder, who also last played Tests at home against West Indies, after Jansen was rested from the tour.
“The decision to rest Marco Jansen was taken to allow for a conditioning period aimed at ensuring optimal physical and mental well-being given the season-long workloads,” Test coach Shukri Conrad said in a statement.

The pace attack will be led by Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi with Nortje not considered after he opted out of a central contract this year with the aim of focusing primarily on T20 cricket. Paterson and left-armer Nandre Burger are the other two pace options.

South Africa’s first-choice Test players have not been in action since the New Year’s Test, which they lost to India after being to miss the New Zealand series and honour SA20 commitments. South Africa lost that series 2-0 and sit in seventh place on the WTC points table, but have only played four matches. They have eight more Tests scheduled in this cycle – two in the West Indies, two in Bangladesh in October and home series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan – and have hopes they could put themselves in a position to compete for a spot in the WTC final.

“This tour is extremely important for us as we aim to improve our standing in the ICC World Test Championship,” Conrad said. “We have, therefore, selected our strongest possible squad and look forward to strong performances in the Caribbean.”

Those members of the squad who are not involved in the MLC or on the county circuit – Bavuma, Breetzke, de Zorzi, Mulder, Paterson, Stubbs and Verreynne – will take part in a four-day training camp in Durban before departing for the West Indies. The first Test takes place in Trinidad from August 7 and the second in Guyana a week later.

Temba Bavuma, David Bedingham, Matthew Breetzke, Nandre Burger, Gerald Coetzee, Tony de Zorzi, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Tristan Stubbs, Ryan Rickelton, Kyle Verreynne

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