Justin Ontong, the Cape Cobras allrounder, has been included in South Africa’s squads for the one-day and Twenty20 international series against New Zealand.
Cricket South Africa on Wednesday named the squads for all three formats for next month’s tour of New Zealand that consists of three Test matches, three ODIs and three T20 International matches.
Graeme Smith has been left out of the Twenty20 side, and another Cobras batsman Richard Levi will open with Hashim Amla in the format.
JP Duminy has been included in the Test side ahead of Ashwell Prince.
Ontong’s last international selection was for the ICC World Twenty20 in England in 2009 although he did not get any game time. He averaged 72 in this season’s 1-Day Cup and currently has an average of 76 in the SuperSport Series.
Marchant de Lange, who took seven wickets in an innings on Test debut against Sri Lanka, is again included in the Test squad and will get the chance to show his worth for the first time at T20 International level.
Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn, will be rested for the T20 series but will play in the other two formats.
“Ontong fully deserves this latest call-up,” commented CSA selection convener Andrew Hudson.
“He has shown outstanding domestic form this season and I believe he has developed into a more mature cricketer. His finishing ability was a key factor in the Cobras’ success in winning the 1-Day Cup.
“He is the complete limited overs package, being a fine batsman who will strengthen our fielding disciplines and also give us another bowling option.
“We have decided to try out some exciting new options in the T20 squad such as Levi, Ontong and De Lange. There are only 11 matches left in this format before we travel to Sri Lanka for the ICC World Twenty20 and this is really the last chance to explore the talent we have at our disposal.
“Having AB de Villiers fit again for T20 action also gives us a lot more flexibility and better balance.”
Rory Kleinveldt and Dean Elgar, who were both selected for the ODI series against Sri Lanka, could not be considered because of injury.
Test squad: Graeme Smith (capt), AB de Villiers (vc), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
ODI squad: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla (vc), Johan Botha, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.
Twenty20 squad: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla (vc), Johan Botha, Marchant de Lange, JP Duminy, Colin Ingram, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Rusty Theron, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.