Shukri Conrad: Is it Kyle Verreynne or Ryan Rickelton? I think Verreynne still has the lead

Kyle Verreynne cricketerKyle Verreynne.

Coach Shukri Conrad has suggested wicketkeeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne will be retained for the Proteas’ Test series against the West Indies later this year.

Verreynne is averaging 26.06 after 26 Test innings. He was the fifth-highest run-scorer in division one of the 2023-24 4-Day Domestic Series – and captained Western Province to the final.

Fellow wicketkeeper-batsman Ryan Rickelton is averaging 23.57 after eight Test innings. He was the Lions’ fourth-highest run-scorer in the Lions’ title-winning 4-Day Domestic Series this season.

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“To complete our top six, is it Verreynne or Rickelton? I think Verreynne still has the lead when it comes to the wicketkeeping bit,” Conrad told IOL.

“We also need to give a genuine all-rounder a chance again because of the value it gives to our side. Marco Jansen has made a lot of progress, but in my mind I don’t think he’s a number seven just yet. So, someone like Wiaan Mulder might come in.”

Conrad, meanwhile, has all but confirmed Western Province’s Tony de Zorzi will open the batting in the absence of the recently-retired Dean Elgar against the West Indies.

“The plan was always for Tony to open the batting, so I will be surprised if he doesn’t open the batting when we kick off against the West Indies,” added Conrad.

“Our top- and middle-order will be made up of the front two – Aiden Markram and de Zorzi – and then Temba Bavuma, Tristan Stubbs and David Bedingham batting in there.”

Stubbs debuted in Test cricket against India earlier this year – and recently hit a triple-century in first-class cricket for the Warriors against the Tuskers.

“I’ve always liked Stubbs. I think he’s got an excellent technique, he’s got a great temperament and he’s definitely going to be in the mix there,” concluded Conrad.

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