South Africa in Australia 2012-13 November 20, 2012

South Africa take it easy in Adelaide heat


Jacques Kallis was the only member of the South African squad who did not train on Tuesday ahead of the second Test in Adelaide. The tourists held a segmented session with AB de Villiers leaving early and Imran Tahir arriving late as they looked to spend minimal time in the 37-degree heat.

"It is optional practice because we've had two really good sessions already and it's very hot," Mohammed Moosajee, the team manager, told ESPNcricinfo.

The afternoon practice was the first conducted under coach Gary Kirsten in preparation for the second Test after he returned from a whistle-stop trip back to South Africa. While the squad dispersed on Wednesday to various destinations around Australia, Kirsten went home to spend some time with his wife and three children and was not present at the compulsory practices on Sunday or Monday.

South Africa held four-hour and three-and-a-half-hour sessions respectively, both of which were full practices incorporating everything from their football warm-ups to extensive nets. Contrastingly, Australia's only optional session will be the day before the Test, Wednesday, while they have been putting in at least three and half hours every other day.

The difference in the amount of training is likely to lead to accusations of South Africa being undercooked, especially having had the worse of the Brisbane Test. But Alviro Petersen dismissed that suggestion bullishly. "We had a break in England as well, so it's nothing new," Petersen said. "We could start the Test tomorrow. We're happy to have a few days to freshen our minds."

Although the team had significant gaps between the three Test matches in England and took occasional breaks, such as a day in Leeds to go to the Olympics, they did not ever split up for more than one day. They also played tour matches between each of the Tests and two before the test at The Oval. No practice match was scheduled for the eight-day break between Tests in Australia, though.

The Kirsten way focuses on smart work instead of hard work and places the responsibility on players to decide how intensely they need to prepare for the next match. It is a method that the previous team he coached, India, said helped them thrive. The South Africans have also warmed to that approach, which newcomer Dean Elgar said allows them to "be treated as adults".

Elgar replaced JP Duminy in the squad after his tour was cut short with a ruptured Achilles tendon, but Elgar seems unlikely to play. Instead, Faf du Plessis, who was batting in the nets, appears destined to make his Test debut.

The other likely change will be the straight swap of Tahir in for Rory Kleinveldt as South Africa look to include spin in their line-up. Thami Tsolekile, the specialist wicketkeeper, was also padded up and batted in the nets, although his inclusion to relieve de Villiers off the gloves will depend on whether South Africa continue to employ the seven batsmen strategy.

Robin Peterson is one of the other options and he bowled a significant amount in Tuesday's session. Dale Steyn, who was recovering from gastro, played a small part in practice, although he is certain to be in good health come the Test. Kallis choosing to rest instead of train is part of the continued process to manage the allrounder as South Africa look to get the best of his batting and bowling on match days.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Guy on November 20, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    This '10 man South Africa' theory is a bit strange. Duminy's off-breaks must have improved a lot since 2009 if their absence can explain 5/565 dec. I do agree with the fact that South Africa will be a better balanced side with a spinner, I'm assuming Tahir, but interesting to see some suggest Robin Peterson here. Having said that, as an Aussie fan, I'm not getting too carried away about Brisbane: a good comeback, but really our top order remains shaky and we're just a Clarke failure from disaster, and I can see Amla and Kallis digging in and getting comfortable on the Adelaide Oval too.

  • Grant on November 20, 2012, 20:07 GMT

    @jonesy2: "cause a huge upset to beat Australia"... I'm sure the Aussies would be hugely upset, but it would hardly be a huge upset.

  • Jonathan Keith on November 20, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    If anyone thinks Thami should be in the test side you are officially blinded by race~! Just as Tsotobe should ALWAYS be in the ODI side~! 100% agree as the team should be selected as : Smith , Alviro Pietersen , Amla , Kallis , AB devilliers , Faf(derserves his chance) , Robin Petersen , Philander , Steyn , Morkel and Tahir~! Any other selection would be ridiculous.... Thami sucks and should be replaced with De Kock and Klienveld should be replaced with Tsotsobe. If they stick to this team selection we have a lot of bowling options and depth in the batting that australia could give us any pitch and we will be more than equiped to deal with it

  • Brenton on November 20, 2012, 10:35 GMT

    I like the idea of putting Petersen in for Rudolph. Rudolphs batting hasnt been great. Petersen is a useful batsman and he will bowl. Use Tahir to attack and Petersen to hold up an end so Steyn, Morkel and Philander can really give the Aussie batsman a working over.

  • Dummy4 on November 20, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    Really looking forward to the 2nd test, my team for SA would be: Smith,Alviro, Amla, Kallis, AB, Faf, Peterson, Philander, Steyn, Morkel and Tahir. Would be a big swing from the normal SA selection policy, but Faf would give us some much needed counter punch at 6, Peterson is handy with the bat, while adding to our options in the bowling department. Tahir while not setting the world on fire to date needs to grab this opportunity to show why he has managed over 500 wickets in first class cricket. Overall impression is strong bating line up, stronger bowling line up. Which may well be needed should the pitch be bating friendly for the first three days and SA lose the toss. Ps I would put Thami in the starting side in the next series, could be too much to ask of him in this series if there were a batting collapse.

  • Dummy4 on November 20, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Final playing xi for SA should be, 1.smith 2.alviro 3.amla 4.kallis 5.AB 6.faf 7.thami 8.robin p 9.tahir 10.steyn 11.morkel .Adilade pitch should suit for spinners better with such a heat.Aussie batsmen wasn't uncomfortable against he should be rested.If tahir can attack,this is a best chance for SA.

  • Dummy4 on November 20, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    South Africa still have the edge. The woeful performance in Brisbane is unlikely to be repeated. Australia though are a different side at home. Should be a cracker.

  • Venkatraman on November 20, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    It will be ridiculous if Peterson gets to play ahead of Tahir. It should be Tahir in place of Rory and Faf/Thami in place of Duminy.

  • Wikus on November 20, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    @jonesy2 "cause a huge upset to beat Australia" ? aus drew against a 10 man SA team who had the wrong team selection bowled absolutely woefully and all the aussies fans seem to think we should be worried? i dont get it. if SA only improves by a small margin in the next test aus will be in trouble. clarke wont keep on saving you and lets be honest the Aus top order is not inspiring confidence. lyon is not a problem and i dont see any of the other bowlers bothering us. yes the second innings you took wickets but so what we were in the field for two days which was our own fault. the final two tests will be hard but if we win i dont see it being an upset. bring on adelaide! :)

  • greig on November 20, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    No.1 test team in the world just drew a game in Ozzies backyard with 10 men. Not bad if you ask me. Next stop Adelaide and to move 1-0 in the series (with 11 players)

  • No featured comments at the moment.