Behardien to lead Proteas against Lanka in T20s

Johannesburg [South Africa]: Right-handed middle order batsman Farhaan Behardien has been appointed as the stand-in skipper of South Africa for the first two matches of the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka beginning January 20.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday announced the 13-man squad that includes six new caps in this format.

“We have decided to rest some of our key senior players for this series,” CSA Selection Convener, Linda Zondi was quoted as saying by Sport24.

“This is the last chance we have to do this as the ODI series that follows is an important part of our build-up to the ICC Champions Trophy Tournament in England in the middle of the year.”

“Those senior players who are involved in the Indian Premier League will be playing non-stop from now until the end of August with the tours coming up to New Zealand and England in addition to the ICC event,” he added.

Zondi also heaped praise on Behardien, saying he was one of the standout players in their franchise T20 Challenge, being the second leading runs scorer behind Jon-Jon Smuts and having the best strike rate.

The CSA Selection Convener also asserted that both AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel were due to resume playing at domestic level and are likely to come in contention for the third T20.

Proteas squad: Farhaan Behardien (capt), Theunis de Bruyn, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Heino Kuhn, David Miller , Mangaliso Mosehle, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Jon-Jon Smuts.

The first T20 at the SuperSport Park will be followed by matches at Wanderers and Newlands on January 22 and January 25 respectively. (ANI)