McLaren, Parnell in Proteas squad, Tahir out

2014-01-29 13:03

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As expected, all-rounders Ryan McLaren and Wayne Parnell have been drafted into the Proteas test squad for the upcoming series against Australia.

They come into the team at the expense of the retired Jacques Kallis and leg-spinner Imran Tahir.

The latter has been dropped after an unflattering performance in the first test against India at the Wanderers in December.

Cape Cobras speedster Beuran Hendricks and Warriors spinner Simon Harmer will be shadowing the team.

The Proteas boast a clean bill of health with Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers having recovered from rib and hand ailments, respectively.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo is acutely aware of the threat that Australia pose as his team play South Africa “A” in an attempt to get match fit.

But the order in which the team was announced hinted at Faf du Plessis taking up Kallis’ number four batting slot, something Domingo agreed to.

“I don’t think it is a state secret as Faf was the guy we earmarked for the position. He got a big hundred batting in the position to save the first test against India. He’s done well in the position for the Titans. I see him as a super replacement to fill Jacques’ boots,” Domingo said.

A bigger boardroom battle has been waged at the International Cricket Council (ICC) at its quarterly meeting, which could make the pitch battle between Michael Clarke’s and Graeme Smith’s charges all the more interesting.

But Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee said the boardroom issues need to be left to those who know best as the team’s job is to do the business on the field.

“We have to accept and understand that no final decision has been made and it is a work in progress. I know Cricket SA will be convening a board meeting sometime next week to discuss the principles and the proposals,” Moosajee said.

“We have to show confidence in the leadership to do what is best for South African cricket.”

Proteas test squad: Graeme Smith (c), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robbie Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile

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