x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Smith and Steyn back for South Africa's UAE cricket tour

Kallis not picked for one-day internationals against Pakistan.

Graeme Smith is likely to be fit in time for South Africa's tour of the UAE. AFP
Graeme Smith is likely to be fit in time for South Africa's tour of the UAE. AFP

JOHANNESBURG // Graeme Smith was named in South Africa's Test and one-day international squads on Tuesday for the series against Pakistan next month even though the opening batsman has not fully recovered from an ankle surgery.

Andrew Hudson, the head selector, said team management "should have a definite picture" of Smith's recovery in the next two weeks after South Africa's Test captain had pins inserted to repair a stress fracture in his left ankle in May and missed the ICC Champions Trophy and the Proteas' limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka.

Dale Steyn, the fast bowler, returned to both squads alongside Smith after he also missed the trip to Sri Lanka in July and August with injury.

Jacques Kallis, the all-rounder, was again left out of the ODI squad having chosen not to play at the Champions Trophy for personal reasons, and South Africa will continue to manage the limited-overs workload of Kallis, who will turn 38 next month during the series against Pakistan in UAE. Kallis has said he still wants to play at the 2015 World Cup, but has not appeared in a one-day international since February 2012.

Top-ranked South Africa play two Tests against Pakistan from Octber 14, followed by five ODIs and two Twenty20 games.

The management believes Smith will be fit to play in both the Tests and one-dayers, although his rehabilitation will be carefully monitored, Hudson said.

"[We] do not want to overload him too much during the early stages of his return," Hudson said.

South Africa kept faith with the same Test squad that delivered series whitewashes over New Zealand and Pakistan at home this year. The Proteas are unbeaten in their last 12 Test series and have won six straight. They last lost a Test in 2011 and last lost a series in 2009.

Imran Tahir, the Pakistan-born leg-spinner, and seamers Wayne Parnell and Vernon Philander were recalled to the one-day squad, where South Africa's record has not been as impressive, losing 4-1 in Sri Lanka.

Cricket South Africa said it would select the Twenty20 squad to face Pakistan after the upcoming Champions League T20 in India.

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