South Africa have named the squads for the white-ball series against Pakistan and have handed ODI recalls to the duo of Aiden Markram and Wiaan Mulder, both of whom last played an ODI in 2019. The board have, however, left out Faf du Plessis, who recently was not awarded a central contract.
Aiden Markram, who has been in scintillating form in the ongoing four-day competition and impressed in the Tests versus Pakistan, has been rewarded for his impeccable consistency as the South African selectors have named the 26-year-old in the side’s ODI squad to face Pakistan next month. Markram, who last played an ODI for South Africa in 2019, in the World Cup, has been a consistent performer in the domestic 50-over competition for years, but saw him lose his spot in the ODI team post 2019 to Janneman Malan, after a string of low scores.
However, despite not featuring in the Momentum ODI Cup this year, the opener has been rewarded for his consistency across competitions by being named in the extended squad for three ODIs against Pakistan. Markram, however, will not be the only player making a comeback as the South African selectors have also handed a recall to all-rounder Wiaan Mulder. The 23-year-old, who is now a regular in the Test side, was axed from the ODI team before the 2019 World Cup, but, like Markram, has seen himself be rewarded for exceptional showings in other formats of the game.
Apart from the duo, there has also been a deserved call-up to both the ODI and T20I sides to Lions pacer Sisanda Magala, who finished atop the wicket-takers chart in both the CSA T20 Challenge and the Momentum One Day Cup. Magala, who has previously been picked in South Africa squads but has been overlooked owing to fitness issues, picked 8 and 13 wickets in the 50-over and 20-over competitions respectively, and hence has rightly been awarded a call-up for both formats.
However, the big news comes in the form of an axe for veteran Faf du Plessis. Du Plessis, 36, who recently announced his retirement from Test cricket, was not awarded a central contract by the Proteas, and has now been left out from both the ODI and T20I squads. Whether this is just a ‘rest’ remains to be seen, but du Plessis’ omission spells good news for Chennai Super Kings, who will now have the right-handed batsman available for the entirety of the 2021 IPL season.
Chris Morris and Imran Tahir, who are also a part of the IPL, have also been left out of both the ODI and T20I squads. The Proteas ODI and T20I squad, which also features quite a few new names, including left-handed batsman Wihan Lubbe and right-arm pacer Lizaad Williams, will be led by Temba Bavuma.