The 31-year-old will replace Hashim Amla, who has been ruled out of the series due to a finger injury. Meanwhile, Faf du Plessis too has failed to recover from his shoulder injury, and in his absence, JP Duminy will lead the side.
"Hashim sustained a tear to the tendon in his left fifth digit while fielding during the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League," team manager Mohammed Moosajee said. "The CSA medical committee has also withdrawn Faf from the ODI series. He has not made a satisfactory recovery from his shoulder injury and has been given more time to make a complete recovery. We are hopeful he will be fit enough to return to lead the T20 side for the three-match series against Zimbabwe."
Despite being an integral member of the Test outfit, Elgar has never managed to break into South Africa's limited-overs team since 2015. Elgar only has 98 runs in six ODIs at an average of 24.50.
National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi said Elgar's recent form and experience will help South Africa in Amla and du Plessis' absence. "We have said that the Zimbabwe series is an opportunity to further explore our ODI options and the unfortunate injury to Hashim gives us an opportunity to see what Dean is capable of in the limited-overs format. He has always been on our radar having put in consistent performances both in South Africa and the UK, and brings a wealth of valuable experience to the batting group in Hashim and Faf’s absence," he said.
Meanwhile, left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj has been released from the ODI squad for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in their first-round four-day competition fixture against the Multiply Titans.
The ODI series starts on September 30 in Kimberley and will be followed by a three-match Twenty20 International series, commencing from October 9.
Squad: Dean Elgar, JP Duminy (c), Reeza Hendricks, Imran Tahir, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, Willem Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dale Steyn, Khaya Zondo.
First Published: September 25, 2018, 5:09 PM IST