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South Africa name new skipper and seven uncapped players for New Zealand tour

South Africa name new skipper and seven uncapped players for New Zealand tour

CAPE TOWN(REUTERS) – South Africa named uncapped Neil Brand as their captain for a two-match test tour of New Zealand next month where the majority of their team will be missing, competing instead in the domestic Twenty20 league.

Half of the 14-man squad named on Saturday have yet to play a test but get their opportunity because the tour clashes with the SA20, the T20 league that was launched by Cricket South Africa and Indian Premier League investors last year.

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All but two of the players in the side that beat India in the Boxing Day test are competing in the SA20 league but David Bedingham and Keegan Petersen will be going to New Zealand.

Bedingham scored a half century on his test debut this week as South Africa beat India by an innings and 32 runs.

Of the party heading to New Zealand, batsmen Zubayr Hamza and Khaya Zondo have won previous test caps, along with pace pair Duanne Olivier and Dane Paterson and spinner Dane Piedt.

Brand led South Africa A to a 2-1 series win over West Indies A earlier this month.

Despite the lack of experience in the squad, coach Shukri Conrad insisted South Africa would prove competitive.

“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,” he said in a statement announcing the team.

“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.”

South Africa will play a three-day warm-up match against a New Zealand XI in Christchurch before the first test at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui from Feb 4-8 and the second test at Seddon Park in Hamilton from Feb. 13-17

Squad: Neil Brand (captain), David Bedingham, Ruan de Swardt, Clyde Fortuin, Zubayr Hamza, Tshepo Moreki, Mihlali Mpongwana (Western Province), Duanne Olivier (DP World Lions), Dane Paterson, Keegan Petersen, Dane Piedt, Raynard van Tonder, Shaun von Berg, Khaya Zondo.

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