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South Africa call up uncapped players for Australia Tests

© AFP/File | South African batsman Quinton de Kock returns to the squad for the two Test matches against Australia

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - 

The South African selectors on Saturday named two uncapped players, Heinrich Klaasen and Wiaan Mulder, in a 15-man squad for the first two Tests against Australia.

The first Test starts in Durban on Thursday.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Klaasen is rewarded for his form in the limited-overs matches against India following an injury to Quinton de Kock, while Mulder, who turned 20 last week, is a promising all-rounder.

De Kock is back in the squad, however, and is probably favourite to get the gloves.

Selection convener Linda Zondi said Klaasen had impressed in the white ball games.

"We firmly believe he can become just as good a player in the five-day format," said Zondi, pointing to an average of nearly 50 in four-day matches this season.

But he added: "We are also keen to have a back-up wicketkeeper to De Kock in the squad."

Mulder was picked ahead of two other all-rounders, Chris Morris and Andile Phehlukwayo, but his chances of playing depend on the make-up of the side.

The squad includes several players who have been injured recently, including captain Faf du Plessis, AB de Villiers, De Kock, Temba Bavuma and Vernon Philander. An exception is fast bowler Dale Steyn, who is recovering from a foot injury.

South African squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada.

© 2018 AFP