Johannesburg: Opening batsman Jacques Rudolph, who played the last of his 35 Tests in August 2006, has been recalled to the South Africa Test squad for the two-match series against Australia. Legspinner Imran Tahir and allrounder Vernon Philander also got their first call-ups to the Test squad.
Rudolph came in for opener Alviro Petersen, who missed out following a run of indifferent form at Test level. Also missing were seaming allrounders Wayne Parnell and Ryan McLaren who were both in the squad for South Africa's last Test, in January against India. Graeme Smith will lead the 14-member squad, and AB de Villiers, who missed the limited-overs leg of the series with a hand fracture sustained during the Champions League, will be his deputy if he clears a fitness examination ahead of the first Test from November 9.
Rudolph went into a self-imposed exile in 2007 when he signed a Kolpak contract with Yorkshire with the aim of developing himself into a more complete cricketer. His recall was widely expected following an impressive return to South African domestic cricket. He scored four centuries and made more than 900 first-class runs last season, before leading a successful South Africa A tour to Zimbabwe. This year, he came into the South African season after scoring centuries for Yorkshire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 and the County Championship. He has since been prolific in the SuperSport Series, where he leads the run-charts with 568 runs from six innings, including a match tally of 297 against Lions in his most recent outing.