Proteas pick rookie

South Africa has selected rookie off-spinner Thandi Tshabalala in its squad to play Sri Lanka in two Tests.

The 21-year-old has been included in the side as support for first-choice spinner Nicky Boje.

"We want him to develop and gain experience with the squad, especially in sub-continent conditions," chief selector Haroon Lorgat told the BBC.

Star batsman Herschelle Gibbs has also been recalled after losing his place during the home series against New Zealand in April.

Gibbs' selection comes at the expense of Jacques Rudolph, who misses out despite a successful tour to Sri Lanka last year with South Africa's A team.

"In the coming season we will focus on players who can produce match winning performances as we strive to become the best team in the world," said Lorgat.

"We expect to face tough choices this season as the quality of our fringe players improve."

The side will again be captained by Graeme Smith, with Ashwell Prince assuming the vice-captain mantle in the absence of Jacques Kallis, who misses the tour following elbow surgery.

South Africa has a single three-day warm-up game before beginning the first Test in Colombo on July 27.

South Africa Test squad: Graeme Smith (Captain); Ashwell Prince (vice-captain); Hashim Amla; Nicky Boje; Mark Boucher; AB de Villiers; Boeta Dippennaar; Herschelle Gibbs; Andrew Hall; Andre Nel; Makhaya Ntini; Shaun Pollock; Dale Steyn, Thandi Tshabalala.

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