SA v SL: All-rounder Wiaan Mulder added to South Africa Test squad

The two-Test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka begins in Durban on Wednesday.

Wiaan Mulder has played eight ODIs for South Africa. Photo: Getty Images

Batting all-rounder Wiaan Mulder has been included in South Africa’s squad for a two-Test series against Sri Lanka that begins in Durban on Wednesday.

Mulder, 20, was added to the 13-man squad which beat Pakistan in all three Tests in a home series earlier this season. “Wiaan has been part of our strategic thinking in developing a batting all-rounder for the Test squad for some time,” said selection convener Linda Zondi, announcing the squad on Thursday.

Mulder was part of the Test squad for a series against Australia last season but did not make the starting XI. He suffered an ankle injury during a One-Day International against Zimbabwe last September but made a successful return to first-class cricket for the Lions franchise last month.

Cautious approach

A notable omission is fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, who is recovering from a knee injury sustained during a limited-overs tour of Australia in November.

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Ngidi has been training with the South African limited-overs squads in recent weeks but Zondi said the selectors were taking a cautious approach. “We are not going to rush him back into international action until he has had the time to regain full match fitness,” said Zondi.

The Sri Lankan team was due to arrive in South Africa on Thursday after suffering two heavy defeats in a Test series in Australia.

Sri Lanka is likely to face a difficult task with an inexperienced team, which includes only six of the players defeated in all three Tests in South Africa two seasons ago. Its squad includes nine players who will be making their first tour of South Africa.

Lungi Ngidi is recovering from a knee injury, and will play no part in the Test series. Photo: AP

 

South Africa’s fast bowlers were dominant in the Tests against Pakistan and the Sri Lankans are likely to face a pace barrage, although the Test venues in Durban and Port Elizabeth are the least pace-friendly of South Africa’s regular Test grounds.

South African Test squad
  • Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock (wk), Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn.

Fixtures
  • First Test: February 13-17, Durban
  • Second Test: February 21-25, Port Elizabeth.