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Farhaan Behardien will captain a new-look South African T20 outfit in their series against Sri Lanka later this month, which includes six new caps.

The 13-man squad for the first two matches has only four members – Behardien, David Miller, Imran Tahir, Aaron Phangiso – who were part of South Africa’s last T20 matches at the World T20 in March 2016. Kyle Abbott, Rilee Rossouw and David Wiese were not considered after recently signing Kolpak deals to play in county cricket, thereby ending their international careers.

The changes to the South Africa squad – including resting regular skipper Faf du Plessis and several senior players such as Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada – come as a result of a packed fixture list.

South Africa had three weeks between their Tests in Australia to the home series against Sri Lanka and will only have four days between the end of the Sri Lanka series and their trip to New Zealand.

They have identified the shortest format, which does not have a major tournament coming up until at least 2018, as the area they can afford to experiment in.

Convener of selectors Linda Zondi said, “We have decided to rest some of our key senior players for this series, This is the last chance we have to do this as the ODI series that follows is an important part of our build-up to the Champions Trophy tournament in England in the middle of the year.”

However AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel, neither of whom have played since June because of elbow and back injuries respectively, are likely to return for the final fixture.