All-rounders step up

2014-01-30 00:00

CONVENOR of selectors Andrew Hudson has announced a 15-man Protea Test squad to face the Australians in three Tests starting in February, with all-rounders Ryan McLaren and Wayne Parnell added to the mix.

These players replace the retired Jacques Kallis and leg spinner Imran Tahir, who has been left out.

Announcing the squad in Johannesburg yesterday, Hudson said, “We want to stay constant with the brand of cricket that has brought us success over the past few years and I believe we have a squad that covers all possible options plus the conditions we may encounter.”

Parnell and McLaren made their debut in the same Test, against England at the Wanderers in 2010.

To date, that was McLaren’s only Test, while Parnell went on to play a further two Tests in India. They have both been involved with the Test squad overseas, although never making the final eleven to get on the park.

Hudson added that Cobras left-arm fast medium bowler Beuran Hendricks, currently enjoying a rich harvest of wickets in the Ram Slam T20 competition, where he tops the list with 21 from eight matches, and Warriors right-arm off break bowler Simon Harmer, would join the squad to assist with preparations ahead of the first Test at Centurion.

“These two players are highly talented and will benefit from being in the Proteas environment,” he said. “They also possess individual skills that will assist the team in preparing for what the Australians will offer.”

Dolphins quick Kyle Abbott failed to make the squad but did, according to Hudson, come into the reckoning.

“He [Abbott] was considered, but it must be realised he originally came into the team as a replacement for Morné Morkel. Unfortunately, there is a pecking order as far as the fast bowlers go and Rory Kleinveldt is next in line,” said Hudson.

“Kleinveldt has done well and will in all likelihood be there as a back-up to Dale Steyn, Morkel and Philander. He might not play either.

“In all honesty, Abbott has a mountain to climb if he wants to get into the Test team as a frontline bowler. To do that, he will have to replace any of those bowlers I have mentioned and that is a test in itself.”

Robin Peterson is now the specialist spinner in the squad for the three Tests with Tahir ousted.

“It’s a ding-dong battle between him and Tahir and we feel Peterson has done enough. He performed well in the second Test against India in Durban and he suits the style of cricket we will play against Australia.

“JP Duminy will be the back-up in the spin department, but we are relying on our quicks to do the business on our home pitches. I feel the spinner will not play a huge role in the Tests and will be a support to the fast bowlers more than anything else.”

Having said that, Hudson is relying on the groundsmen at Centurion (1st Test), St George’s Park (2nd Test) and Newlands (3rd Test) to produce wickets to accommodate the Protea seam attack.

Last time the Australians were in South Africa, they were blitzed for 47 at Newlands, but they return a more confident outfit after their recent demolition of England in Australia.

Whatever wickets are prepared, the Aussies will match the Proteas in the pace department with the rejuvenated Mitchell Johnson, backed by Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle while, in the spin department, Nathan Lyon could have the edge over the Peterson and Duminy combination.

Proteas Test Squad

Graeme Smith (Cobras, Capt), Hashim Amla (Cobras), AB de Villiers (Titans), JP Duminy (Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Titans), Dean Elgar (Knights), Rory Kleinveldt (Cobras), Ryan McLaren (Knights), Morne Morkel (Titans), Wayne Parnell (Warriors), Alviro Petersen (Lions), Robbie Peterson (Cobras), Vernon Philander (Cobras), Dale Steyn (Cobras), Thami Tsolekile (Lions).

Australia Tour Fixtures

Feb 5-8 : Australia v SA Invitation XI, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom

Feb 12-16 : 1st Sunfoil Test match, SuperSport Park, Centurion

Feb 20-24 : 2nd Sunfoil Test match, St George’s, Port Elizabeth

March 1-5: 3rd Sunfoil Test match, Newlands, Cape Town

March 9 : 1st KFC T20 International, St George’s, Port Elizabeth (Day)

March 12 : 2nd KFC T20 International, Kingsmead, Durban (D/N)

March 14 : 3rd KFC T20 International, Centurion (D/N).

Join the conversation! 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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

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


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 network.


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.