Dewald Brevis is called up by South Africa for the Australia series

The player with the most runs scored at the 2022 Under-19 World Cup was Dewald Brevis

In South Africa’s men’s squad for their forthcoming white-ball series against Australia, Dewald Brevis has been selected. The 20-year-old batter, who led all scorers at the Under-19 World Cup in 2022, has previously participated in a number of franchise leagues, including the IPL, CPL, and MLC. He has now received a long-awaited call-up to the international team.

The only competitive matches South Africa will play before the World Cup in October-November are the T20I and ODI series, and Brevis has been named to the squads for both. Instead of simply trying him out for a position in India, the goal is to present Brevis to the biggest stage. 

Brevis will bat in the middle order rather than his regular opening position, according to South Africa’s coach Rob Walter, who made the announcement at a press conference. Additionally, there are no demands placed on him other than to gradually integrate into the senior team.

“It’s nice to be able to give him an opportunity. He is one of our up-and-coming youngsters. We want to just broaden our base a little bit and this Australia series is an opportunity to give him a run,”

Walter said.

“I won’t be calling him Baby AB [de Villiers]. We will leave AB to be AB. He [Brevis] is a fairly grounded young guy. It’s just about creating an environment to express himself in.”

Instead, all eyes will be on Keshav Maharaj, who has recovered sooner than anticipated from an Achilles rupture and is still in the running for the World Cup.

Maharaj sustained the injury during a Test match against the West Indies in March and was predicted to miss the remainder of the season, but he has made sufficient progress to be included.

“He has done exceptionally well to this point. He is ahead of where we thought he would be, so things look positive,” Walter said. “It’s difficult to guesstimate the last portion of his recovery and when he will be match ready but I am quietly hopeful he will be ready for those T20s.”

Regardless of his level of match fitness, Maharaj has been selected for the second and third T20Is. Before the World Cup, the management is hopeful that he will play in the ODIs. 

The first World Cup roster for South Africa will be announced on September 5, prior to the ODI series, but alterations can be made up until September 27. The final XV will likely have two spinners, and Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Bjorn Fortuin are expected to be vying for those slots.

“Ninety-five percent of our squad is tried and tested,”

Walter said.

“And then there is potentially an opportunity for a younger flair.”

Two uncapped batters join Brevis and the majority of the newcomers in the T20I squad. Donovan Ferreira has been added as a second middle-order option in addition to Matthew Breetzke, who serves as the top-order cover. The three of them—who are all a part of Walter’s future plans—will share the wicketkeeping duties for the T20 International matches together with Tristan Stubbs.

“We’re going to give guys opportunities and we might spread the load a little bit,”

Walter confirmed. 

“Donovan was involved in a lot of league cricket. One of the areas in our batting we want to pay attention to is the ability to finish and clear the rope so that’s why he is in. Matthew is top-order cover. All the coaches on my support staff as well as Shukri [Conrad, the red-ball coach] speak very highly of him.”

Gerald Coetzee, who has represented South Africa in Tests and ODIs but has yet to play in a T20I, might possibly be one of the new T20I bowlers. Temba Bavuma, the Test and ODI captain, and Rassie van der Dussen, who were benched for the home T20Is against the West Indies earlier this year, are also back in the T20I team.

“When they were left out, it was a performance-based thing but I was also specific saying it’s our job to get them back in.”

Walter said.

“Rassie has been at the Global T20 in Canada and Temba was working hard here. It’s the perfect opportunity for them to show they are able to maneuver their games and grow their games.”

Since their World Cup Super League series against the Netherlands finished on April 2, South Africa has not played any cricket. The ODI team will meet up the following Monday for a three-day cohesion camp in the Kruger National Park. Training for both teams will begin on August 24 and the opening match against Australia is set for August 30.

“Our guys are playing in five or six different environments throughout the year so the camp is about creating a platform for our players to connect with each other. When pressure moments arrive, it’s our connection with each other that is going to hold us up,” Walter said, while acknowledging the scant game time is not ideal ahead of the World Cup. 

“You are never going to replicate world cup pressure in the nets but we are trying your best to get there. We speak of trying to create the right environment that has got a bit of an edge to it. Still, it’s always a tough one.”