All-rounder Ryan McLaren is amongst five Proteas players to be given new national contracts.
South Africa seem to have put faith in Ryan McLaren to succeed Jacques Kallis as the team’s all-rounder, after he was re-awarded a national contract.
The 30-year-old has been a regular in the one day and Twenty20 formats for his country and, with Kallis coming towards the end of his career, it seems McLaren has been given the opportunity to take his place.
It is unlikely that McLaren is a like-for-like replacement as he wouldn’t bat as high up the order as Kallis, but SA’s convener of selectors Andrew Hudson can see a place in the side for him.
“We know that Jacques Kallis will not be round indefinitely and we have to look at finding another allrounder for the Test side,” Hudson told ESPNcricinfo.
“That No.7 spot means we could play someone like Ryan there instead of the extra batsman.”
McLaren’s only real challenger for the all-rounder spot has been Albie Morkel, brother of fast bowler Morne, who has struggled with form and injuries recently.
Other players to have been awarded new contracts for the Proteas are Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Marchant de Lange and Aaron Phangiso.
Elgar made his way into the team after batting veterans Jacques Rudolph and Ashwell Prince were no longer selected for the side.
Twenty-two-year-old pace bowler de Lange is perhaps the most exciting player to have been given a new contract. The young bowler has been regularly reaching between 87mph and 93mph with his deliveries and he was the most successful bowling debutant of 2011, with figures of 7-84 against Sri Lanka.
De Lange will now be competing with Kleinveldt and Kyle Abbot to be first choice reserve bowler for the Test side.