Maharaj has shown in this season’s One-Day Cup that he is just as effective at taking wickets as he is containing the run rate.
Keshav Maharaj’s excellent form for the Dolphins in the Momentum One-Day Cup has been rewarded with a call-up to the national side for the three match One-Day International series against Australia.
The left-arm spinner has played four ODIs but has never been in a fixture in the 50-over team, with wrist-spinners Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi viewed as better attacking options by previous selection panels.
Maharaj has shown in this season’s One-Day Cup that he is just as effective at taking wickets as he is containing the run rate, with his 13 wickets for the Dolphins coming at an average of 14.30 and an economy rate of 3.48.
Maharaj’s last ODI came against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2018, when he returned excellent figures of 1/32 in 10 overs, and was in fact deserving of a couple of more wickets in that match.
South Africa are putting in place the foundation blocks for the 2023 World Cup and the squad named yesterday reflects that.
Kyle Verreynne, picked in the squad for the series against England, will hope to get a game against the Australians, as will his Cape Cobras teammate Janneman Malan.
Dwaine Pretorius is one of three players being rested, and his absence will give Andile Phehlukwayo another opportunity to build his confidence in the national side.
Faf du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen are the others being given a break, and while Du Plessis is unlikely to be a part of the 2023 World Cup squad, his experience is something the Proteas still want to utilise over the next two years as they try to build the side for that tournament.
“Faf has been fantastic for us in white ball cricket and remains very much in our ODI plans and we will manage his workload for the near future diligently,” said Proteas head coach Mark Boucher.
“I would like to strengthen our depth pool right now and see what players we have out there. I feel that this is the time and opportunity to do so.”
The first match of the series will be played in Paarl tomorrow.
SA ODI squad
Quinton de Kock (capt, wk), Temba Bavuma, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lungi Ngidi, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Jon-Jon Smuts, Anrich Nortje, Lutho Sipamla, Keshav Maharaj, Kyle Verreynne