Australia v South Africa, 1st Test, Brisbane, 5th day November 13, 2012

South Africa's squad set to disperse after drawn Test


Despite their shortcomings in the drawn Brisbane Test, South Africa have not scheduled extra practice sessions before the second match begins on November 22 in Adelaide. The squad will split up tomorrow and reconvene on November 18, with coach Gary Kirsten making a whistle-stop trip back to South Africa to visit his family.

"We've got eight days before the next Test and we try to keep people refreshed," Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa's team manager, told ESPNcricinfo. "Usually, we work on needing four days of preparation for any Test."

Kirsten is the only one making that long a journey. He will leave Brisbane on Wednesday morning for Cape Town, spend three nights with his wife and three children, and will return to meet up with the squad in Adelaide on Sunday. The other members of the tour party are staying in Australia, with some headed to the Great Barrier Reef, others to the Sunshine Coast and the rest remaining in Brisbane.

Assistant coach Russell Domingo, middle-order batsman Jacques Rudolph, physiotherapist Brandon Jackson and performance director Paddy Upton will be diving at the world's largest coral reef. The bulk of the squad, though, will be on the beach. Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are driving up the coast.

Alviro Petersen is headed directly to Adelaide to spend time with a friend, while Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir, Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt, Robin Peterson and Thami Tsolekile will stay in Brisbane and make the occasional day trip. Dean Elgar, who was added to the squad after JP Duminy's Achilles' injury, will meet up with them on Thursday. Duminy has a follow-up visit with the surgeon who performed his operation on the same day and is due to return home to South Africa at the weekend.

Taking short breaks during tours has become the norm for South Africa under Kirsten, whose work-life balance philosophy has been implemented by the board. Since he took over in June last year (his first assignment was only in November), every series apart from the two-Test one against Australia has had a break long enough to allow the players rest and, in the case of overseas tours, time to explore.

Against Sri Lanka at home at the end of the last year, South Africa dispersed after the first Test in Centurion and reconvened for the Boxing Day Test, which they lost. In New Zealand, a three-day result in Hamilton allowed some of the squad to visit Lake Taupo. In England, there was time for excursions, with the squad managing a trip to the Olympics, and at the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka they took a few days off in Bentota.

South Africa have had a travel intensive year with five months away from home, including tours to New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka and Australia. They have been implementing a flexible player management program and allowing time off wherever possible. Jacques Kallis, for example, was rested from the one-day leg of the England tour, although he played in the Tests and T20s. Instead of remaining with the squad, as he might previously have done, he went to New York to visit his partner. Other players who took part in all formats in England and played in the World T20 were given a total break from cricket on their return home.

This is not the first time a coach has left the squad during a series. Allan Donald missed the drawn match in Wellington, while Kirsten was absent for some parts of last year's Cape Town Test when his daughter was born.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rodney on November 14, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    Its a shame they group is divided, but as long as they bond on the field, then thats all that matters.

  • Ricky on November 14, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    Where is ALLAN DONALD ,What is he going to do ? any news ?

  • greig on November 14, 2012, 9:36 GMT

    Eventhough SA were below par and Ozzies played their best cricket (for a draw at home). I think taking a break is a great idea. Kirsten is an old pro and knows the stresses for being away from home. This will recharge the guys so they can come back strong in Adelaide.

  • shalin on November 14, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    Why is Jacques Rudolph still in the squad. he is adequate at provincial level as an OPENING BAT, but has proven time and time again that he cannot make the step up to international level. he is not even playing in his specialist position. there are many more in South Africa to fill that position. unacceptable. Kirsten must wake up and stop filling these positions with his "friends" who don't perform

  • Roo on November 14, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    @RaadQ... Be surprised if you brought in another keeper for this series, what with Duminy gone & a specialist spinner needed in Adelaide - that's 2 required changes already to the team, which most teams dread doing for obvious reasons... Spinners come into their own at AO on the last few days, with day 5 usually showing good turn - actually seen a couple of games this year & there has been good bounce & turn even in some of the shorter matches... Both captains will want to bat first...

  • Roo on November 14, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    @Gilly4ever... Maybe that is why Philander & Kleinveldt are staying in Brisbane?... Even a day with a grade team bowling over the weekend would help - though I doubt Kleinveldt will get a start in Adelaide as a specialist spinner is a must at AO...

  • Raad on November 14, 2012, 2:35 GMT

    I'm a South African fan and I must say it wasn't the umpires fault. Cowan and Clarke got a break each (a wicket from a no ball and a dropped catch from Steyn) and they capatalised on it. Amla and Kallis made the mistake of not reviewing Amla's wicket. Overall South Africa were at an obvious disadvantage without an extra batsman and their main spinner in the match (Duminy). Hopefully Kallis' niggle is better by the time of the 2nd match so he can provide more overs with the ball, allowing Tanvir to come in as the spinner, as we badly needed a fifth bowler who can spin (thats why Smith, Amla, Peterson were bowling to no effect!) I hope Faf replaces Duminy and capatilises on it. Otherwise SA can always bring in a wicketkeeper and allow de Villiers to become a specialist batsman. Last thing we need is another injury!

  • Adrian on November 14, 2012, 1:08 GMT

    Australia used to have breaks mid series after they had had a big 3-day win. Not sure that this break was quite as well earned as that kind of thing though. I guess at least they get to enjoy the scenery - on top of the mega bucks they earn as professional cricketers. Methinks perhaps they should have some extra training by Philander and Kleinveldt at least on their no ball problems.

  • Rob on November 13, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    Much amused at Rudolph's choice - great common sense though from coach Kirsten to institute a break.

  • Peter on November 13, 2012, 23:09 GMT

    @Basil777. Let me see, after 3/40, the South African bowlers took 1 for 525 runs & they were done in by umpiring? Interesting take on the match. Interesting indeed.

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