Proteas

AB to decide on fourth seamer?

AB de Villiers (Gallo)
AB de Villiers (Gallo)

Cape Town - With the batting line-up seemingly back on track - with the exception of opener Stiaan van Zyl - the only selection issues for the Proteas going into the third Test against England at the Wanderers are in the bowling department. 

Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the match as he continues to recover from a shoulder strain, but the biggest headache is likely to be whether or not to play Dane Piedt. 

The off-spinner gave a good account of himself in the second innings of the second Test in Cape Town - taking 3/38 as the Proteas chased an unlikely victory on the final day.

But Piedt's potential exclusion in no way suggests that he has done a poor job, and it would be more about conditions in Johannesburg than anything else. 

History has suggested that spin bowling in Johannesburg is not a necessity, and with rain expected throughout the Test match there is likely to be a bit in it for the seamers. 

READ: Stats don't bode well for Piedt

It is a decision that will fall largely on the shoulders of new captain AB de Villiers. 

"With a new captain and a new leader … we really take the input of the captain very seriously," convener of selectors Linda Zondi told Sport24.

"We need to make sure that the captain is happy with the team that he is going to take across that white line."

Previous captain Hashim Amla was a known fan of having a specialist spinner in his teams, but De Villiers and the Proteas can not accept anything other than a victory in this match and there will surely be a temptation to use conditions in an attempt to blow England away.

"We’ve done our homework and we know what Wanderers has to offer, and if there is an opportunity for four seamers we shall definitely go with four seamers, and if we feel that we need a spinner then we have Dane Piedt," Zondi added.

"It’s better to have more options than to limit yourself."

With Steyn out, a fourth seamer will come in the form of Kyle Abbott or Hardus Viljoen.

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