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