South Africa have named top-order batsman Aiden Markram, fast bowler Anrich Nortje and wicketkeeper-batsman Sinethemba Qeshile in the T20I squad for the three-match series against Sri Lanka, starting March 19. Markram and Nortje have been picked for all three matches while the uncapped Qeshile has been selected only for the last two.
JP Duminy, meanwhile, has been named captain for the second and the third T20Is as designated captain Faf du Plessis will be rested for those games along with Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.
Markram has played 17 Tests and 18 ODIs for South Africa since his international debut in October 2017, and Nortje got his national cap in the recent ODI series against Sri Lanka. Qeshile, 20, meanwhile, only has 13 first-class and 12 List A appearances - for Warriors - against his name.
"The first match forms part of our Vision 2019 to continue exploring our options for the ICC Men's World Cup," Cricket South Africa's national selection panel convener Linda Zondi said, "and the squad for that match consists largely of the squads that have been doing duty in the Momentum ODI Series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We would have liked to include Hashim Amla but unfortunately he remains unavailable because of his family situation."
"Sinethemba Qeshile has had an outstanding rookie season of franchise cricket and is certainly one of the form batsmen in franchise cricket at the moment. He looks a really exciting prospect. JP Duminy will take over the captaincy for the last two matches while we give a short break to Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi who are involved across all three formats for the Proteas.
"We have used our T20 International matches in the past as the first port of call to widen the pool of talent. This has resulted in Rassie van der Dussen, Gihahn Cloete, Janneman Malan and Lutho Sipamla being brought through the pipeline with considerable success during the course of the current season."
South Africa squad for 1st T20I: Faf du Plessis (capt), Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen
South Africa squad for 2nd and 3rd T20Is: JP Duminy (capt), Reeza Hendricks, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Chris Morris, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Sinethemba Qeshile (wk), Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Dale Steyn, Rassie van der Dussen