Pollock and Ntini rested for second Test
South Africa will be without their established new-ball pairing of Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini when the second Test against Zimbabwe gets underway at Centurion on Friday, after both players were rested following the two-day rout that took place at Cape Town over the weekend.
Pollock, who has been suffering from a long-term ankle injury and bowled just five overs in the second innings at Newlands, has been replaced by Andre Nel, while Ntini makes way for Monde Zondeki, so ending a run of 36 consecutive games, stretching back to the first Test against Australia at the Wanderers in February 2002.
For Nel, it will be a return to favoured pastures. Against England in January, he made his long-awaited return to international cricket following a serious back injury, and celebrated with six wickets in the first innings. He was unlucky to miss out on selection during the first Test, but given that his replacement, Charl Langeveldt, had bowled South Africa to victory over England in the corresponding Newlands earlier in the year, before sitting out the rest of the series with a broken hand, there could be little complaint.
Zondeki's most recent Test appearance also came against England - he made his debut at Headingley on the 2003 tour, and though a back injury meant that he went wicketless in both innings, his most telling performance came with the bat. In the first innings, he made an invaluable 59 in partnership with Gary Kirsten, which enabled South Africa to transform their fortunes from a dicey 142 for 7 to an imposing 342, and from there they went on to win the match.
South Africa's convenor of selectors, Haroon Lorgat, added that Andrew Hall, who joined the squad after the first Test, had been released to play for the Highveld Lions, who face a crucial meeting with the Goodyear Eagles in the final round of the SuperSport Series. The 12th man duties will be held by the playing staff of the Nashua Titans, whose home ground is at Centurion.
South Africa 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 AB de Villiers, 3 Jacques Rudolph, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 Herschelle Gibbs, 6 Ashwell Prince, 7 Mark Boucher (wk), 8 Nicky Boje, 9 Monde Zondeki, 10 Charl Langeveldt, 11 Andre Nel.