Proteas announce squad for maiden voyage under Malibongwe Maketa

Injuries and a new approach resulted in some changes to the Proteas’ Test squad for next month’s three-Test tour of Australia.
South Africa announced its 16-man squad to take on Australia in a three-match Test series next month. The squad contains a few surprises, with batter Theunis de Bruyn earning a recall, seamer Gerald Coetzee earning a first call-up and Aiden Markram dropped.
In 2019 — before Mark Boucher’s appointment as coach of the Proteas — South Africa’s current director of cricket, Enoch Nkwe, took charge of the side on an interim basis to tour India for a three-match Test series.
The Proteas, while in a transitional phase after Ottis Gibson’s reign, unsurprisingly lost the series 3-0.
It is now the turn of Malibongwe Maketa, who has been thrown into a similar situation, as interim coach to lead the side into the cauldron of the No 1 Test team in the world in Australia.
“It doesn’t get any more exciting than that. It’s a great challenge. It’s something we’re really looking forward to as a squad. It doesn’t get any bigger than Australia, in Australia in December,” Maketa said.
“It’s exciting for us as Cricket South Africa to play in this series; we haven’t been there in a while. The past few Tests we played there we did really well. It’s important that with this new group we go out there and showcase our skills under that pressure.”
As excited as Maketa is for his maiden trek as coach of the Proteas, the challenge will be stiff.
Even though South Africa are currently second on the World Test Championship log, the side is coming off a 2-1 series defeat to England in September.
The batters have been battling to score big runs, with only wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne and opener Sarel Erwee scoring centuries this year — both against New Zealand. Australia, on the other hand, have only lost one of their past 10 matches and sit pretty at the top of the World Test Championship standings.
Squad for Down Under
South Africa are on the back foot early, as their second-highest run-scorer for 2022, Keegan Petersen, has been ruled out of the tour Down Under with a torn hamstring.
Maketa and the convenor of selectors, Victor Mpitsang, also confirmed that Markram had been dropped for the tour.
However, there is a middle-order replacement for those players as Theunis de Bruyn makes his return to the Test squad after a three-year hiatus.
De Bruyn averages ...