Adams benefits from political call (2 January 1999)

2 January 1999

Adams benefits from political call

By Geoffrey Dean in Cape Town

WITH the series against the West Indies already won, South Africa have dropped Pat Symcox for the fourth Test starting today at Newlands to make way for the Cape Coloured player, wrist spinner Paul Adams.

This is a sacrifice that smacks of political expediency, for Adams has not been bowling well this season. Symcox had a moderate Test in Durban but Adams bowled poorly against the West Indies for South Africa A in the first-class match just before Christmas.

Despite Adams' recall, criticism over the make-up of the side has come this week from black politicians. Sports Minister Steve Tshwete bemoaned the lost opportunity to blood a talented black youngster, while National Sports Council president Mluleki George said that the selection of only two non-whites in the team (the other being Herschelle Gibbs) was an indication that cricket administrators were not serious about change.

That is a little hard on the United Cricket Board of South Africa, who brought in Gibbs for Adam Bacher for the second Test because he is a Cape Coloured. The move was labelled as tokenism by many, but it has at least paid off if only because of Gibbs' brilliant catching and fielding.

Beset by injuries to their fast bowlers, the tourists will be missing Courtney Walsh (torn hamstring) and have concerns over the ability of Curtly Ambrose (knee) and Franklyn Rose (shoulder) to get through the match.

Ottis Gibson, who has been playing for Griqualand West, has been called up to join the party and could yet make the final XI as the West Indies want to include four fast bowlers on a pitch expected to have pace and bounce. It was covered yesterday owing to incessant rain which forced both teams to practise indoors.

South Africa will choose between the impressively accurate newcomer David Terbrugge and the now fit all-rounder Lance Klusener, whose last Test was at Old Trafford in July. Terbrugge's control has kept the impatient West Indies top order under pressure in this series, but Klusener's batting and extra pace may swing the decision his way.

Hansie Cronje is promising that his side will be pressing hard for a whitewash. Some of the South African newspapers are cockily predicting one. Such is the low morale of this West Indies party, rumoured to be badly divided, that an unprecedented 5-0 defeat looks more a probability than a possibility.

South Africa (from): *W J Cronje, G Kirsten, H H Gibbs, J H Kallis, D J Cullinan, J N Rhodes, S M Pollock, -M V Boucher, L Klusener, A A Donald, P R Adams, D J Terbrugge.

West Indies (from): *B C Lara, P A Wallace, J R Murray, S Chanderpaul, C L Hooper, D Ganga, -R D Jacobs, N A M McLean, F A Rose, C E L Ambrose, M Dillon, O D Gibson.

Source :: Electronic Telegraph (