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Proteas unchanged for Investec Tests

Investec Test Series

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South Africa have stuck with the squad that beat New Zealand 1-0 in their last series for the Investec Tests with England.

England’s number-one status will be on the line when they host the second-placed Proteas, who are one point behind in the table after winning in the Antipodes during March.

South Africa are the last side to beat England in a home Test rubber, prevailing 2-1 in 2008 to reclaim the Basil D'Oliveira Trophy which they then retained with a 1-1 draw in 2009-10.

Convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson said: "The players fully deserve a vote of confidence after the outstanding manner in which they outplayed New Zealand away from home.

"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.

South Africa

South Africa prevailed 1-0 in New Zealand last time out and have named the same squad for the Investec Test Series with England

"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."

Hudson said Graeme Smith has recovered from ankle surgery and has begun training with coach Gary Kirsten.

"Graeme has been outstanding both as our leading run-scorer and as captain during our last two Test tours of England and I have every confidence he will continue that form," he added.

The first Test at the Kia Oval, from July 19, will be Smith's 100th and he is also likely to pass Allan Border as the most capped captain during the series.

The second Test is at Headingley Carnegie from August 2 and the third at Lord’s from August 16. The Proteas will then play five one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals versus England ahead of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Prior to the tour of England, South Africa have a T20 triangular series against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in Harare this month.

Hashim Amla will lead a 14-man squad to Zimbabwe in place of Johan Botha, who was supposed to captain the Proteas, while AB de Villiers was rested but was withdrawn because of a knee injury.

South Africa squad for Investec Tests: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher (wicketkeeper), Marchant de Lange, AB de Villiers (reserve wicketkeeper), JP Duminy, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe.

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