AB de Villiers returns to the specialist role of wicketkeeper/batsman for the first two matches of the four-match Test Series against England starting at Stadium Kingsmead in Durban on 26 December.
The Cricket South Africa (CSA) national selectors today named a squad of 13 players for the first two matches.
The second match will be played at Newlands, Cape Town from 2 January.
De Villiers did keep wicket during last season’s home series against the West Indies when Quinton de Kock was injured but, before that, had not kept wicket in a Test match since the 2013-14 home series against Australia.
Both De Kock and Dane Vilas, who kept wicket in one Test match in Bangladesh this year and then throughout the recent Freedom Series in India, will turn out for South Africa A in their fixture against England next weekend.
Vilas will captain the side and keep wicket while De Kock will bat at No. 4.
De Villiers’ return to an all-rounder role will enable Temba Bavuma to return to his normal batting position in the middle-order while Dean Elgar and Stiaan van Zyl will resume their opening batting partnership at the top of the order.
Uncapped Rilee Rossouw has been included in the Test squad as the extra batsman while Dane Piedt is the only spinner selected with both Simon Harmer and Imran Tahir dropping out from the squad that went to India.
With Vernon Philander on the injury list Kyle Abbott retains his place in the four-man fast bowling attack along with Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada.
PROTEAS TEST SQUAD:
Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Kyle Abbott, Temba Bavuma, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Morne Morkel, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn, Stiaan van Zyl.