The South African cricket team has received another major blow after captain Faf du Plessis’s suspension from the third Text. Opening batsman Aiden Markram’s availability for the third Test is not confirmed as he is still to recover from his injury and hence the team management has picked uncapped batsman Pieter Malan as a cover for him.
Cricket South Africa selection convener Linda Zondi said that Pieter Malan has an outstanding track record in four-day domestic cricket over the past two seasons, having made more than 1700 runs including 7 centuries.
He noted that the opening batsman has also made the step up to South Africa A level, first against Australia and then against India A on the sub-continent.
Malan is going through a purple patch in recent times and is scoring heavily in domestic cricket. He has scored three hundreds in this season so far and has amassed 629 runs at a sterling average of 52.41.
Meanwhile, the team management has announced that opening batsman Dean Elgar will lead the South African team in the third Test in the absence of regular skipper Faf du Plessis.
Linda Zondi stated that the appointment of Elgar as stand-in captain is part of their strategy to develop their pool of leaders.
He noted that they have previously used Aiden Markram and Quinton de Kock in this role in ODI matches and Dean has previously captained the Proteas at Test match level against England at Lord’s in 2017.
The hosts won the second Test comfortably despite Pakistani batsmen showing some resilience in the second innings. The third Test between the two teams will start from January 11.
South Africa’s squad for third Test:
Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma,Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Dane Paterson, Pieter Malan.