Preview: High flying South Africa look to increase lead

Preview: High flying South Africa look to increase lead

South Africa
Preview: High flying South Africa look to increase lead. (Photo Source: AFP)

Preview: High flying South Africa look to increase lead: After thumping the Caribbeans quite comfortably by an innings and 220 runs in the first test at SuperSport Park in Centurion, the South Africans would like to increase their lead to 2-0 and strengthen their position at the top of the ICC Rankings, when the two teams meet at St. George’s Park in St. Elizabeth in one of the three test matches that are set to begin on Boxing Day this year.

Both the teams have injury issues going into the second test as South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has been ruled out of the series with an ankle ligament tear, whereas Robin Peterson is unlikely to play the second test after three stitches to his bowling hand, that will take 10 days to recover. On the other hand, the visitors have added to their woes, as they have lost one of their most experienced players, Kemar Roach to an ankle injury.

Let us have a look at the two teams, how they build up to the second test of the series and the probable XI.

South Africa: Rilee Rossouw has been called up to replace the injured Quinton de Kock for the rest of the series, but with the cover up batsman still nursing a finger injury, it is likely that the new comer into the side, Temba Bavuma will likely make his debut in Port Elizabeth. South Africa are yet to name a replacement for the injured Robin Peterson, it is likely that they may call in Imran Tahir or Dane Piedt for the test as the surface is expected to aid the spinners as well.

Probable XI: Alviro Petersen, Dean Elgar, Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Stiann van Zyl, Temba Bavuma, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir/Dane Piedt

Last 5 Tests (Most recent first): W W D W L

West Indies: The tourists are also struggling to cope with the injuries and they have already lost Kemar Roach to injury. Kenroy Peters have been called up as a cover but the team would be likely putting more faith on Shannon Gabriel. The first challenge for Ramdin’s team will be to restrict South Africa to a total so that they can avoid the follow-on and make the mighty Proteas’ bat again

Probable XI: Kraigg Brathwaite, Devon Smith, Leon Johnson, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jermaine Blackwood, Denesh Ramdin (c/wk), Jerome Taylor, Suliemann Benn, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel

Last 5 Tests (Most recent first): L W W L W

Team Talk

Denesh Ramdin on his hope for a West Indies fight back: We do believe we have the resources to take 20 South African wickets. I just don’t think we adjusted well enough to the pitches here – we bowled too short. The first couple wickets we got on the first morning the guys got caught behind. If we look back now we can see we bowled too short to AB and Hashim who scored many runs square of the wicket. We know they’re a very good bowling line-up and we shouldn’t have given them any opportunities. We need to be more disciplined in the batting department – not go after wide balls, be smart. We need to bat for longer sessions. It’s important for guys that get starts to carry on and get a big hundred. No one did that.

Hashim Amla on the extra day of rest and the performance of his side: I’m really happy we’ve got a day and a bit to rest. We hadn’t played Test cricket in five months and physically, it took it’s toll on all of us. I don’t think many people appreciate how difficult it is to be a bowler in this format. We always know Dale is good for ten overs on the trot. When he had four wickets, the game was in the bag and it was a no-brainer to keep him on. We picked up wickets regularly so I felt we had to go for that instead of giving the West Indies a break. It’s never easy for the bowlers and the team but the guys ground their teeth and they got through it. Following on is never easy; it takes a big heart to do things like that. Credit to our seamers for having that big heart.