Smith set for return during Pakistan series

The South Africa Test captain needs to prove his fitness ahead of the tour starting next month.

Graeme SmithGraeme Smith has been included in South Africa's touring party for the series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates starting next month, but must still confirm his full recovery from an ankle injury that has kept him out since May.

Smith is pencilled in to captain the 15-man test squad for the two-match series and has also been named in the one-day selection, though Proteas convener of selectors Andrew Hudson said they would take a cautious approach with the 32-year-old.

"We should have a definite picture on the status of Graeme's recovery from surgery within the next two weeks," Hudson said in CSA statement released on Tuesday.

"We will obviously be monitoring Graeme's condition very carefully and do not want to overload him too much during the early stages of his return."

Smith was at Adidas headquarters in Germany last week, where he was fitted for custom made boots that it is hoped will relieve the stress on his ankles and potentially prolong his career.

There were no new caps in the test squad, though middle-order batsman JP Duminy returns for the first time since picking up an Achilles injury in the away series against Australia last November.

Vernon Philander has been included in the one-day selection having made known his desire to play limited-overs cricket.

The South African selectors have been hesitant to pick the swing bowler in the past, preferring he concentrate on the longer version of the game.

"We want to give Vernon the chance to show us what he can do," Hudson said. "He and Wayne (Parnell) are both good lower-order all-rounders and have the ability to contribute significantly in the batting department as well."

The first test against Pakistan will start in Abu Dhabi on October 14, while there will also be three one-dayers and two Twenty20 internationals.

The squad for the latter will be announced after the Twenty20 Champions League in India that starts next week.

Squads:

Tests: Graeme Smith (captain), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis, Rory Kleinveldt, Morne Morkel, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile.

ODIs: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Ryan McLaren, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Lonwabo Tsotsobe. (Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by John O'Brien)

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