Johannesburg: Cricket South Africa (CSA) has named an unchanged 15-man squad for South Africa's three-Test series in England next month, putting faith in the men who beat New Zealand 1-0 earlier this year.
South Africa will tour England for Test matches at The Oval, Headingley and Lord's in what will be a fascinating battle for the No. 1 spot. England are currently holders of that title but South Africa are just one point away with 116 on the ICC's Test rankings and a series win will elevate Graeme Smith's team to the top.
"The players fully deserve a vote of confidence after the outstanding manner in which they outplayed New Zealand away from home," said CSA selection convener Andrew Hudson. "We are now building up excellent depth in both the batting and bowling departments. This was highlighted by JP Duminy's century when he was called up as an 11th hour replacement for Jacques Kallis.
The squad that toured New Zealand earlier this year has been persisted with by CSA.
"I believe most other countries would be very happy to have the fast bowling resources we have at the moment. Marchant de Lange has been most impressive since his outstanding debut against Sri Lanka while Lonwabo Tsotsobe gives us a left-arm option. Consistency has also been one of the key pillars of our selection policy and this is also contributing to our success on the field."
The series starts on July 19 with the final Test finishing on August 20. AB de Villiers, South Africa's ODI captain, will be the reserve wicketkeeper in the Tests behind Mark Boucher who is set to retire after the third Test.
South Africa Test squad: Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher (wk), Marchant de Lange, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Morne, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.