South Africa have been handed a potential fitness boost ahead of the third Test against England beginning on 14 January. The Proteas will head to Johannesburg hoping to level the four-match series after drawing the second contest and will be buoyed by the news that Dale Steyn has been deemed fit enough to take his place in an unchanged squad.
The influential fast bowler, currently ranked second behind Ravichandran Ashwin in the International Cricket Council 's (ICC) latest Test rankings, was selected for the first encounter after recovering sufficiently from a groin injury sustained against India in November 2015.
However, Steyn then appeared to suffer a shoulder strain on day one in Durban that eventually ruled him out for the latter stages of South Africa's comprehensive 241-run defeat. He was replaced by Kagiso Rabada for the thrilling tie at Newlands, but has been named in both the Test squad for the final two matches in addition to a 14-man party set to contest the ODI series against England in February. The 32-year-old will likely undergo a late fitness exam before a final decision is taken on his selection.
"We were highly encouraged by the performance put up by the Proteas at PPC Newlands," Cricket South Africa's convener of selectors Linda Zondi said. "The very fact that they were nearly able to force a win after conceding 600 runs on the first innings speaks volumes for the character of this group of players.
"We feel we have all our bases covered and also the options that will enable the team to exploit whatever conditions they encounter at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium and at SuperSport Park."
Although the Test side has a familiar look with JP Duminy seemingly handed a reprieve, the selectors have opted to include Rilee Rossouw in the ODI group after he returned from injury. Highveld Lions bowler Aaron Phangiso drops out.
Perhaps the most significant change for South Africa will see the Test team led by experienced batsman AB de Villiers for the remainder of the series after Hashim Amla abruptly announced his resignation as captain immediately following the draw in Cape Town, citing the need to focus on his batting.
South Africa squads for final two Tests and ODI series against England
Test squad: AB de Villiers (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl, Hardus Viljoen
ODI squad: AB de Villiers (capt), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel , Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn