SA may follow Aussies’ selection recipe, says Hudson

2014-02-18 00:00

JOHANNESBURG – The number seven position in the South African line-up for the second Test against Australia, which starts in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, will once again be scrutinised with a magnifying glass. Even if it means to copycat the Aussies.

Andrew Hudson, convenor of the national selectors, yesterday said that the Australian recipe to select seven specialist batsmen and four bowlers may be followed.

“This is perhaps the route we will take for the second Test. It may be a gamble to go into the Test with four bowlers, especially if one gets injured, but on the other hand we should place more confidence in the bowlers to perform their task for us,” he said.

Hudson intimated that Robin Peterson will be retained as a spin bowler with Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morné Morkel as the quickies.

That means Ryan McLaren may face the chop, with his Knights’ team-mate Dean Elgar taking his place to strengthen the batting.

Hudson also hinted that in order to draw level in the series, it is unlikely that they will look further than the present squad of 15 players.

“We will have to change gears in PE. The problem will not be solved by making major changes.

“The players must stand together and show what they are capable of. To face a bowler such as Mitchell Johnson, you have to take things one at a time.

“Set yourself short-term goals and do not try to look too far ahead,” said Hudson.

“I still believe that we have an excellent bunch of players at our disposal. It is expected that Port Elizabeth will be a slow pitch and that the ball will keep low. It won’t be easy to manipulate the conditions to suit us.

“You also have to be cautious because preparing a wicket to suit you can backfire, as happened at Centurion.

“We were not able to predict the un­evenness of the pitch during the first Test and eventually it was a surface that suited the Aussies and Mitchell Johnson like a glove,” said Hudson.

He also admitted that JP Duminy’s form is a cause of great concern and that it needed to be discussed with him.

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