Test-teaser a chance to savour the Proteas playing at their full potential

2011-11-09 00:00

WITH the T20 and one-day series between Australia and South Africa rapidly concluded, it’s time to turn our attention to the Test series, but sadly not for long.

A series between Test cricket’s fiercest rivals is a tantalising prospect, but with just two matches on the itinerary it seems little more than a teaser. With the number two and four-ranked Test teams both vying for higher rankings and playing for pride, this series deserves more than just the two encounters.

It’s been a long layoff from Test cricket for a number of the senior members in the Proteas side.

Captain Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Dale Steyn were last in action during the New Year’s Test match against India.

AB de Villiers has had an equally long break from the five-day format and was forced out of the T20 and one-day series against Australia with a hand injury.

The long break and injuries to key players has not helped with the Proteas preparation, but on paper their Test line-up is impressive.

Jacques Rudolph is an exciting selection. The left-hander, who last played Test cricket in 2006, has been knocking on the door of the South African selectors ever since. He has piled on the runs domestically, for county side Yorkshire and more recently for South Africa A in Zimbabwe. He is an intelligent, classy cricketer who could bat anywhere in the batting order but will most likely open with Graeme Smith.

Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers form a formidable top order. Gary Kirsten will have to chose between Ashwell Prince and JP Duminy to fill his number six batting slot. Both have been much tried, but Kirsten may opt for the younger Duminy and give him yet another chance to cement his place in the Test line-up. Mark Boucher is fit and focused. His supportive role down the order is vital for the Proteas.

Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn , two of the best opening bowlers in world cricket at the moment, pick themselves. It’s the selection of the spinners that’s interesting.

Attacking leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who is set to make his Test debut at Newlands, must surely be the first-choice spinner. The question is whether Kirsten will include the defensive bowling of Paul Harris. Depending on the wicket the use of two spinners could be an option to lighten the bowling load for workhorse Jacques Kallis.

Should Kirsten opt for only one spinner, the inclusion of Lenwabo Tsotsobe could add variety with his left-arm seamers. Tsotsobe is good with the new ball, but he is an inexperienced Test bowler and has yet to show his stamina and ability to come back for a second or third spell.

Vernon Philander is another possibility. He is an accurate seam bowler with a “golden arm”. His presence in the team could take some of the pressure off the attacking fast bowlers and help to contain the Australians.

The abbreviated Test series may not give Kirsten time to try out all his combinations, but he has exciting options available and this is encouraging for South Africa.

Two Test matches against the Aussies may not satisfy Test-hungry fans, but it will be a taste to savour if the Proteas play to their potential.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.