Unheralded Proteas out to prove a point in NZ Tests

Stand-in South African captain Neil Brand said on Saturday the two-Test series against New Zealand has handed his group of unheralded players a “massive opportunity” to become first-choice internationals. 

Brand is among eight uncapped players in an overhauled 15-man tour squad preparing for the first Test starting in Mount Maunganui on Sunday. 

Nearly all of the Proteas’s first-choice players weren’t selected because of their contractual obligation to play in the country’s domestic Twenty20 league, a cash cow for Cricket South Africa. 

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There are just 51 combined Test caps in Brand’s squad, the most experienced player being pace bowler Duanne Olivier, whose 15 Tests have been spread over the last seven years. New Zealand’s squad of 13 boasts 480 caps between them. 

“It’s a great responsibility and a great opportunity for all the guys here to stake a claim for the Test side,” Brand said.

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