Former captain Faf du Plessis has not been picked in the 15-man squad for the three-match ODI series against Australia, starting on February 29 at Boland Park, Paarl. Du Plessis, who is currently enduring a lean patch in limited-overs cricket, has been rested from South Africa ‘s ODI squad announced on Wednesday. Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj has been rewarded for good form in a domestic one-day tournament with his first ODI call-up since 2018.

Despite getting rested from the ODIs, the 35-year-old du Plessis remains part of the country’s future plan, Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed in an official statement. Du Plessis, who stepped down from the captaincy in all forms of the game earlier this month, is being rested along with recent regular players in Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius,

“With a busy year and a half in mind, the selectors have opted to give further rest to Faf du Plessis and other senior players such as Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius, while giving themselves an opportunity to see what some of the country’s up and coming talents have to offer,” the statement read.

With an aim to build a solid core group for the future, head coach Mark Boucher said the squad was picked keeping the next World Cup in mind.

“We always saw the series against England and Australia as an opportunity to play some fresh talent,” said Boucher.

“If we feel that we need to rest players, we will, as we have done in the recent past. Faf (du Plessis) has been fantastic for us in white-ball cricket and remains very much in our ODI plans and we will manage his workload for the near future diligently.”

The squad includes batsman Janneman Malan and wicketkeeper-batsman Kyle Verreynne, who were both included in the squad for a recent series against England but did not play. Malan has previously been capped at T20 level while Verreynne is uncapped.

“I would like to strengthen our depth pool right now and see what players we have out there. I feel that this is the time and opportunity to do so,” Boucher added.

South Africa Squad: Quinton de Kock (C/wk), Temba Bavuma, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Kyle Verreynne.