South Africa in England 2012 July 11, 2012

Tsolekile named as Boucher's replacement

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Thami Tsolekile, the Lions wicketkeeper, will replace Mark Boucher in South Africa's squad for the Test series in England. Tsolekile, however, is unlikely to play the first Test from July 19, with South Africa coach Gary Kirsten saying AB de Villiers will keep wicket at The Oval.

"Thami has done very well [for] both the Lions and South Africa A for a couple of seasons, culminating in his South African record [of] eight catches in an innings this past week," Andrew Hudson, Cricket South Africa's convener of selectors, said. "With AB de Villiers also able to fill the role of wicketkeeper in the Test series it gives the tour selectors options in this important position."

Tsolekile's inclusion was necessary because of Boucher's retirement from cricket, following a severe eye injury sustained during the tour match against Somerset in Taunton. Boucher was struck by a bail and had to undergo surgery for a lacerated eyeball.

Tsolekile, 31, played three Tests for South Africa in 2004, when Boucher was left out of the team. He scored only 47 runs in five innings and was dropped when Boucher made a comeback. Tsolekile has vast domestic experience, having played 132 first-class matches over a 13-year career that began in 1999. He has been second in line to the national team for years but did not get an opportunity because of Boucher's permanence in South Africa's plans.

Tsolekile was given a central contract in February, the first time CSA had contracted a second wicketkeeper in 13 years since contracts were first awarded in 1998.

During a recent game between South Africa A and Sri Lanka A in Durban, Tsolekile took eight catches in the first innings, a South African record.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • praveen4honestremark on July 14, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    I am sure SA wins 3-0 against ENG. Any one with me???

  • whatawicket on July 12, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    to say harris is a better choice as spinner is nonsense. harris suits the saffers mentality as cautious its just in their nature. tahir if used as an attacking spinner could help them get the better of england. the oval of all the 3 test grounds can suit spinners, but with the rain thats about depends how dry they leave the pitch. if the saffers win the toss and bat and score enough runs and able to put pressure on england. but you can bet england will put pressure on tahir then smiths cautious nature will kick in. should be a great series with the 2 best teams going head to head. i can see 1 - 1 on the cards.

  • aahahaa on July 12, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    I have always felt that if there is one team, in spite of the class talent avaialble, that shoots itself in the foot by selection (quota?) is SA. Eng has the best fast bowling attack right now, and a WC spinner. I will already not have de Lange, Tsotsobe, Tsolekele, Rudiolph and Tahir not playing tests against the current super English contingent. SA should scrap the quota system to win anything worthwhile.

  • SurlyCynic on July 12, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    BlackInWhites: "All of the other keepers bat high up the order and will find difficulties adjusting to the lower order batting" - haha, had to laugh at this statement. They bat higher up the order as they are far better batsmen than him, simple really. If you want to argue that TT is a better keeper and that batting isn't important for a keeper then fair enough (although I'd disagree), to argue that Thami is a better batsman because he bats lower down the order is nonsensical.

  • satish619chandar on July 12, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    @RandyOZ : To some extent true.. The players need to follow the likes of Rudolph as they now have a opening in their home team..

  • satish619chandar on July 12, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    As for team composition, SA should have bought in Harris.. Preferring a attacking spinner is good but as far as we see in England, spin is nothing these days.. No spinner performed even decent with ball.. Swann plays here most of times and he looks ok but absolutely nothing in for spinners.. Can SA think of a four man seam attack with JPD as spinner? I would have preferred Harris over Tahir as Harris always performed his role to perfect and DID it for team.. Atleast he can be containing at one end ans allow the pacers to go full throttle at the other end.. Wish SA pick a perfectly balanced team for the first test.. Hope no more injuries..

  • Jester01 on July 12, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    Faf du Plessis would probably have been the best choice in my opinion to replace Boucher, seeing that selectors have opted to make our batting stronger by not selecting a wicketkeeper for the first test. He was a Kolpak player so he should know the conditions, he can also bowl legbreak and he's also an outstanding fielder. We can't afford to drop catches like we did against the Kiwi's. JP Duminy really struggled last time against Swann, to be fair the guy is tough to get away for most left-handers but JP will also make our batting-lineup look more formidable. The best wicketkeeper to fill Boucher's shoes is Dane Vilas, he can score runs and do it at a good strike-rate. None of this really matters now, because Thami Tsolekile has already replaced Boucher as successor like we all expected. I doubt that he will play though.

  • Eskimo on July 12, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    AB must keep. Period. This nonsense about he can't because he's the best bat in the team is rubbish. Just because other teams didn't have the luxury of their keeper also being the best bat in the team, shouldn't mean SA should not exploit his talent. SA will always be 2nd best if they copy other teams and I'm sick and tired seeing talent go wasted. All the top teams these days have batsmen-keepers. That extra batsman will level the playing grounds in the upcoming series, considering Eng's huge batting depth. The best teams sacrifice to be the best. England are playing so many matches and it paid off. If it was me I'd play De Lange instead of Tahir and see what these english batsman are really made of, since Tahir is rubbish compared to the pace attack.

  • BlackInWhites on July 12, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    Out of all the alternative wicketkeepers that you guys are mentioning (Vilas, Kuhn, Van Wyk, Smit), Tsolekile has been the only one to illustrate that he can make runs batting at No7 and No8. All of the other keepers bat high up the order and will find difficulties adjusting to the lower order batting..... Can somebody give me a No7 and No8 batsman that has scored more runs than Tsolekile over the recent seasons???????????????????????????? AB is a very good batsman that hasnt been tested at keeping and batting in the longer format of the game.. Would you want to tire your main batsman by making him keep?

  • riverlime on July 12, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    AB is too good a batsman to risk tiring him out with Test keeping. For the limited overs games, maybe, but not the longest form. I've said this before... Let a keeper keep and let a batsman bat.

  • praveen4honestremark on July 14, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    I am sure SA wins 3-0 against ENG. Any one with me???

  • whatawicket on July 12, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    to say harris is a better choice as spinner is nonsense. harris suits the saffers mentality as cautious its just in their nature. tahir if used as an attacking spinner could help them get the better of england. the oval of all the 3 test grounds can suit spinners, but with the rain thats about depends how dry they leave the pitch. if the saffers win the toss and bat and score enough runs and able to put pressure on england. but you can bet england will put pressure on tahir then smiths cautious nature will kick in. should be a great series with the 2 best teams going head to head. i can see 1 - 1 on the cards.

  • aahahaa on July 12, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    I have always felt that if there is one team, in spite of the class talent avaialble, that shoots itself in the foot by selection (quota?) is SA. Eng has the best fast bowling attack right now, and a WC spinner. I will already not have de Lange, Tsotsobe, Tsolekele, Rudiolph and Tahir not playing tests against the current super English contingent. SA should scrap the quota system to win anything worthwhile.

  • SurlyCynic on July 12, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    BlackInWhites: "All of the other keepers bat high up the order and will find difficulties adjusting to the lower order batting" - haha, had to laugh at this statement. They bat higher up the order as they are far better batsmen than him, simple really. If you want to argue that TT is a better keeper and that batting isn't important for a keeper then fair enough (although I'd disagree), to argue that Thami is a better batsman because he bats lower down the order is nonsensical.

  • satish619chandar on July 12, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    @RandyOZ : To some extent true.. The players need to follow the likes of Rudolph as they now have a opening in their home team..

  • satish619chandar on July 12, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    As for team composition, SA should have bought in Harris.. Preferring a attacking spinner is good but as far as we see in England, spin is nothing these days.. No spinner performed even decent with ball.. Swann plays here most of times and he looks ok but absolutely nothing in for spinners.. Can SA think of a four man seam attack with JPD as spinner? I would have preferred Harris over Tahir as Harris always performed his role to perfect and DID it for team.. Atleast he can be containing at one end ans allow the pacers to go full throttle at the other end.. Wish SA pick a perfectly balanced team for the first test.. Hope no more injuries..

  • Jester01 on July 12, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    Faf du Plessis would probably have been the best choice in my opinion to replace Boucher, seeing that selectors have opted to make our batting stronger by not selecting a wicketkeeper for the first test. He was a Kolpak player so he should know the conditions, he can also bowl legbreak and he's also an outstanding fielder. We can't afford to drop catches like we did against the Kiwi's. JP Duminy really struggled last time against Swann, to be fair the guy is tough to get away for most left-handers but JP will also make our batting-lineup look more formidable. The best wicketkeeper to fill Boucher's shoes is Dane Vilas, he can score runs and do it at a good strike-rate. None of this really matters now, because Thami Tsolekile has already replaced Boucher as successor like we all expected. I doubt that he will play though.

  • Eskimo on July 12, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    AB must keep. Period. This nonsense about he can't because he's the best bat in the team is rubbish. Just because other teams didn't have the luxury of their keeper also being the best bat in the team, shouldn't mean SA should not exploit his talent. SA will always be 2nd best if they copy other teams and I'm sick and tired seeing talent go wasted. All the top teams these days have batsmen-keepers. That extra batsman will level the playing grounds in the upcoming series, considering Eng's huge batting depth. The best teams sacrifice to be the best. England are playing so many matches and it paid off. If it was me I'd play De Lange instead of Tahir and see what these english batsman are really made of, since Tahir is rubbish compared to the pace attack.

  • BlackInWhites on July 12, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    Out of all the alternative wicketkeepers that you guys are mentioning (Vilas, Kuhn, Van Wyk, Smit), Tsolekile has been the only one to illustrate that he can make runs batting at No7 and No8. All of the other keepers bat high up the order and will find difficulties adjusting to the lower order batting..... Can somebody give me a No7 and No8 batsman that has scored more runs than Tsolekile over the recent seasons???????????????????????????? AB is a very good batsman that hasnt been tested at keeping and batting in the longer format of the game.. Would you want to tire your main batsman by making him keep?

  • riverlime on July 12, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    AB is too good a batsman to risk tiring him out with Test keeping. For the limited overs games, maybe, but not the longest form. I've said this before... Let a keeper keep and let a batsman bat.

  • BlackInWhites on July 12, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    People you are getting carried away here. Not even once did CSA say that Thami will be the keeper for all formats of the game. He is merely there for tests. The ODI and T20 keeper is AB... By suggesting that AB stay on as keeper you guys are being short sighted. Test require specialist wicketkeepers, you dont want a part time keeper standing behind the stumps when a tricky legbreaker like Tahir is bowling. You setting him up for failure. Xolile these are not random stats, these are stats that show recent form, which i think that is the basis of selecting any player. You surely dont want to pick a player based on wat he did in 1988 now do you? PLEASE GIVE TSOLEKILE A CHANCE AND THEN YOU CAN JUDGE HIM.... KUHN HAD HIS 5 MATCHES ALREADY AND HE SCORED 10 RUNS.

  • satish619chandar on July 12, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    It will give SA some more cushion in terms of batting.. Duminy at 7 is a LONG batting order.. May be, AB can come in at 6 promoting Rudolph to 5 for one game if he feels tired.. AB can play any role in saving innings or bash towards end for quick declaration.. Anyway, for the first game, no headache as there is no choice available.. Wish he doesn't get injured while keeping.. The seamer's position is key for SA.. Steyn is obvious.. Philander himself promoted to No.2 bowler in recent times.. Morkel is raw these days.. Tsotsobe and his left arm variety might work better than Morkel? Crucial decision to make as it can have big influence on the game..

  • grahaam on July 12, 2012, 5:38 GMT

    Wrong choice as was the last last time this guy tried to play at this level , I wish him well but realise his selection is going to be controversial ......It could see some more promising cricketers heading pastures new

  • Cpt.Meanster on July 12, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    I think AB is not fit to keep wickets in tests. He's more suitable for ODIs and T20. Thami deserves this chance. He's been terrific for the Highveld Lions. Good luck Thami. Show the English what you are made of. Oh and besides those of you who think SA already lost the series with this choice, umm... there are 10 other players in the team and not just 1. Peace.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on July 12, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    SA's best batsman should not keep, he shoud bat. AB doesnt like keeping but does it because he is asked to do it. I alot of my comrades are slagging off Thami saying he is not up for it, but he is the BEST gloveman in the country. Granted he doesnt have a great batting average, he probably is performing the same with the bat as mark boucher. Thami is 31 yrs old, so he is not going to be around forever, and should provide sufficient cover while De Kock is groomed for the job in later years (if england doesnt steal him)

  • on July 12, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Thanks Mark for your contribution to International Cricket. Wish you a speedy recovery & luck for future endeavors.

  • on July 12, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    Though, Thami was the obvious choice...everyone had in mind, I think CSA erred in selecting him... He is 31, and CSA should have looked long term. If they could have gone for a 31 year old, then they could have as well opted for @Davy Jacobs. A Puttick was another option which CSA overlooked. For one-dayers they should either opt for Davy Jacobs or go back to Morne Van Wyk.

  • Lmaotsetung on July 12, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    SA can have Kieswetter back so Eng can groom any of the young and upcoming wk like Bairstow or Butler.

  • Meety on July 12, 2012, 0:52 GMT

    Interesting debate on here regarding Tsolekile v others. I don't see him as being any worse than the Boucher of the last 3 or so years. The BIG issue as I see it is, AB deVilliers batting average is 22.4 when he is the designated keeper in tests, his career ave is over 50. I wondered whether the Safricans would use AB as the keeper. IMO, given the Saffas will create chances, they need a quality keeper first & foremost to take advantage of any chances. The Saffa bowlers should keep England's runscoring in check. All that being said, ABdV could go out & get a ton & then be heralded in the same light as Gilly!

  • on July 12, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    I think SA just lost the series with this choice.

  • on July 11, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    It doesn't matter if they have this guy or anyone else wicket-keeping. England are probably going to destroy South Africa. South Africa will be going into this test series thinking they are the better team, but just ask any other cricketing nation who have underestimated England in home conditions since 2009 and you will understand how devastating a mistake that can be.

  • Robster1 on July 11, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    Tsolekile is purely a quota choice and at best a very short term solution anyway due to his age. Vilas, Kuhn, Van Wyk would all have been better choices right now (Vilas may well be the next in line) and in the long term De Kock looks an outstanding prospect. If Tsolekile plays in England their bowlers will destroy him. I too have the feeling that Rudolph and Duminy will both play with AB taking the gloves.

  • on July 11, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    Congrats Thami and good luck.

  • maddy20 on July 11, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    AB is a much more capable wicketkeeper batsman than this guy. I cannot believe they are actually considering a guy with a batting avg of 29 in FC cricket!

  • Muhtasim13 on July 11, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Tsolekile's batting stats isn't that far from Boucher's. But since Boucher's keeping skills is far better than any other South African, it may have been logical to pick a keeper with really good batting skills. So I am kind of in the dark regarding why Kuhn or Van Wyk, both of whom have better first-class stats than Boucher, wasn't chosen ahead of Tsolekile.

  • threeslipsandagully on July 11, 2012, 18:32 GMT

    It's far too soon for de Kock to be playing tests for South Africa; while his record in First Class cricket looks impressive, it's worth pointing out that many of those runs were scored in provincial cricket rather than for a franchise. No doubt he looks real prospect, but it's far too soon. I personally would've opted for Vilas, Kuhn or van Wyk ahead of both Tsolekile and de Kock.

  • whatawicket on July 11, 2012, 16:40 GMT

    it puts a lot of pressure on de villiers as he is 1 of the better batters and the best fielder. most on here so far dont think much of the replacement. have they no younger WK. englands has an abundance of them prior been the man, but could pick 3/4 whos skill is right up there.

  • BellCurve on July 11, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    @BlackInWhites - I agree with you that De Kock is the future. But Tsolekile as interim keeper? You've got to be kidding. Your statistical analysis uses random cut-off dates. On that basis just about anything can be "proved". The reality is Tsolekile scored just 4 centuries in all formats of the game over a career spanning 14 years and 298 innings. De Kock is 19 years old and he has already scored 3 centuries. He is ready to represent South Africa in Test cricket.

  • Gordo85 on July 11, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    No suprises here. I guess we all knew the moment we heard about Boucher that Thami would step into the side at some point. In the past he has played three tests and he didn't do alot with the bat back then. From what I have heard for some years he is proberly the best behind the stumps at state level just behind Boucher. To me though at age 32 it makes me wonder why he is getting selected when he is surely only a short term fix. A First Class av of 29 and less in One Day Domestic doesn't look like his batting is very good. Other keepers out there in South Africa have higher batting stats like Dane Vilas,Heino Kuhn and also not to forget the likes of Quinton de Kock are just to name a few. But I am guessing that South Africa feel that the three listed above are not as good behind the stumps as Thami otherwise surely they would pick one of those others. The debate is what is more important making runs or being great behind the stumps? I really hope Thami does well otherwise time to go.

  • ROXSPORT on July 11, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    Seems more likely than not, Thami Tsolekile will be warming the benches for the entire series, save the side games. With Rudolph & JP fighting for 1 spot, the one who performs better will be included in the next series with a specialist keeper taking up duties from AB. I just predict that JP will be the one to hold his own while it will be good-bye for Rudolph.

  • Jester01 on July 11, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    I just hope for Thami's sake and for the team that he does justify his selection, should the opportunity arise. He certainly have a lot to prove and the team needs him to. The controversy over his selection will remain though.

  • djdrastic on July 11, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    It's a real pity regarding Bouch and the appointment of Tsolekile is more a political than a performance/long term move.All the best to Thami , and I hope the guy does well , as this is most likely his last chance to prove himself at international level.

  • on July 11, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Should keepers wear shades , like the other players to save them selves from such a tragedy in future??

  • BlackInWhites on July 11, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    In the longer version of the game domestically over the past 3 seasons Tsolekile has been the better wicketkeeper and the stats show that.

    Kuhn 43 innings - 1,454 runs - 36.35 average - 2 100's - 8 50's - 94 dismissals Tsolekile 41 innings - 1,338 runs - 46.14 average - 1 100's - 7 50's - 103dismissals V/Wyk 44 innings - 1,534 runs - 41.46 average - 3 100's - 8 50's - 85 dismissals

  • BlackInWhites on July 11, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    All of a sudden AB is more than willing to take the gloves? SA will regret this. In test you need a specialist wicketkeeper not a good fielder that can keep. Alot of people are talking about the SA tail being lengthened with the introduction of Tsolekile in the SA set up forgeting that Boucher last scored a 100 in 2008 against Bangladesh and before that had one against West Indies in 2004.. Yet no one talked of the long tail when he was at the whelm. Why are we shooting down Tsolekile before he has even lifted a bat or gloves. It seems like YOU want anything but Tsolekile. Kuhn has been given 5 matches in T20 and he has scored a lousy 10 runs. Vilas hasnt been tried and tested yet you want to throw him in the deep end. The most ready keeper here is Tsolekile yes he will play for a year or two while the are grooming the real replacement which is not Kuhn, not Vila but DE KOCK....... Tsolekile deserves this call up because of what he has achieved over the past three seasons.

  • landl47 on July 11, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    If AB is selected as W/K for the first test, will SA still play Tahir? It's hard enough for a regular keeper to stand up to a LBG bowler, let alone one who only keeps standing back in ODIs. It's not as though Tahir is predictable, he's not very accurate and the ball could go anywhere. SA might be better off playing an all-seam attack and if they're desperate for a change of pace, using Duminy or Smith.

  • on July 11, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    AB must NOT keep, at least not in first two tests. He is too important a player to lose or too be tired.

  • CapeTowna on July 11, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Thami was selected back in the day for his keeping abilities and his leadership abilities, which I believe are not questionable. 7 years later the game has moved on. Dane Vilas, Heino Kuhn and others would have been better replacements for Boucher. Bouch was pushed to retirement because of his age and the fact that cricket has moved on from his generation of wicket keepers. To bring in Thami who is a almost as old is a big blunder. Philander is not much better than Steyn as a Batsman.

    Assuming Peterson will recovers, we have Smith, Peterson, 3. Amla,4. Kallis, 5. AB, 6. Rudolph 7. Tsolekile#, 8. Philander, 9. Steyn, 10. Morkel/Tsotsobe, 11. Tahir. Philander can no longer be considered an alrounder. He is not a much better batsman than Steyn at the moment, realistically.

    Get a Keeper who can bat, or prove that Heino Kuhn cannot do the job. He is not good in limited overs cricket, but we select him there. He is good at First Class, but we don't select him in Tests.

  • on July 11, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    Thami is a very good keeper, but it's obvious he's the wrong person, too old and can't bat. He's team mates will know this and will feel nervous every time he bats. If he makes no runs and England win the series, the whole cricketing world will be looking at him.

  • AllroundCricketFan on July 11, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    1.Smith 2.Petersen 3.Amla 4.Kallis 5.AB 6.Rudolph 7.JP 8.Philander 9.Steyn 10.Morkel 11.Tahir - tOTALLY AGREE WITH you @Xolile. Rudolph or JP would have to give way to Thami for the 2nd Test. Should be a good one. And lets see how Thami performs on the very big stage.

  • BellCurve on July 11, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    1 Smith 2 Petersen 3 Amla 4 Kallis 5 AB 6 Rudolph 7 Duminy 8 Philander 9 Steyn 10 Morkel 11 Tahir - with allrounders in positions 4,5 and 8. That's good team balance. But still would prefer to see De Kock at No7.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on July 11, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    SA have committed a blunder even before a balll is bowled. I know de villliers started as a keeper and still keeps in odis, but still asking him to keep in a test is unfair on the world's best batsman.

  • ankitth on July 11, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Have south africa selected thami ,to keep wickets only ?though people say he averages 50 for last two years ,i don think he s the perfect replacement !32 nearing ,south africa have messed up by giving him a central contract. Search for a new one guys ,he s sure to flop in int cricket

  • moloko on July 11, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    im disappointed by this decision, thami averagres 29 inb first class cricket im nervous for the proteas. The top 6 must go the most of the runs. I think am happy with ab keeping wicket in first test, this means that jp duminy will bat at 7. our aim should be to win the fisrt test it will hard for england to come back, proteas pls win the first test!!!!!!! it will hep us alot.

  • S.Jagernath on July 11, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Very predictable & an unfortunate situation for the better wicketkeeper/batsmen in S.A.Tsolekile is just a wicketkeeper & S.A will now have an even longer tail if Vernon Philander does not bat well.

  • moloko on July 11, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    to be honest am disappointed by this decision thami cannot bat he averages like 29 in first class cricket. Ithought maybe the selectors could have named someone else as bouchers replacement someone like maybe vilas or kuhn or dekock should have been part of the Soiuth Africa A squad. the proteas top 6 must perform with the bat in the entire serious in my opinion i think with thami at 7 we have a long tail. im worried about the batting

  • BellCurve on July 11, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Tsolekile has scored just 4 first class centuries in a career spanning 14 years. He scored 101* against the Titans in October 2004 (earlier in that match AB De Villiers and Martin Van Jaarsveld put on 317 for the 2nd wicket in the Titans' first innings); 141 against the Warriors in October 2009 (Stephan Cook scored 390 in the same innings, a SA first class record); 140 against Bangladesh A in April 2010 (Kuhn scored 190 in the same innings and Petersen 116); 111 against Bangladesh A, also in April 2010 (out of a team total of 482). Moreover, in 125 List A and 47 T20 matches Tsolekile has a highest score of 68 and averages in the low 20s. From these facts we can infer that Tsolekile is at best a very average batsman. SA cannot afford to have him at No7 in their Test batting line-up. Not against England.

  • on July 11, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    And he still cant score runs, whats the point? Ab to keep, Faf into the test squad. Of course wont happen that way, *sigh*

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  • on July 11, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    And he still cant score runs, whats the point? Ab to keep, Faf into the test squad. Of course wont happen that way, *sigh*

  • BellCurve on July 11, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Tsolekile has scored just 4 first class centuries in a career spanning 14 years. He scored 101* against the Titans in October 2004 (earlier in that match AB De Villiers and Martin Van Jaarsveld put on 317 for the 2nd wicket in the Titans' first innings); 141 against the Warriors in October 2009 (Stephan Cook scored 390 in the same innings, a SA first class record); 140 against Bangladesh A in April 2010 (Kuhn scored 190 in the same innings and Petersen 116); 111 against Bangladesh A, also in April 2010 (out of a team total of 482). Moreover, in 125 List A and 47 T20 matches Tsolekile has a highest score of 68 and averages in the low 20s. From these facts we can infer that Tsolekile is at best a very average batsman. SA cannot afford to have him at No7 in their Test batting line-up. Not against England.

  • moloko on July 11, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    to be honest am disappointed by this decision thami cannot bat he averages like 29 in first class cricket. Ithought maybe the selectors could have named someone else as bouchers replacement someone like maybe vilas or kuhn or dekock should have been part of the Soiuth Africa A squad. the proteas top 6 must perform with the bat in the entire serious in my opinion i think with thami at 7 we have a long tail. im worried about the batting

  • S.Jagernath on July 11, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Very predictable & an unfortunate situation for the better wicketkeeper/batsmen in S.A.Tsolekile is just a wicketkeeper & S.A will now have an even longer tail if Vernon Philander does not bat well.

  • moloko on July 11, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    im disappointed by this decision, thami averagres 29 inb first class cricket im nervous for the proteas. The top 6 must go the most of the runs. I think am happy with ab keeping wicket in first test, this means that jp duminy will bat at 7. our aim should be to win the fisrt test it will hard for england to come back, proteas pls win the first test!!!!!!! it will hep us alot.

  • ankitth on July 11, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Have south africa selected thami ,to keep wickets only ?though people say he averages 50 for last two years ,i don think he s the perfect replacement !32 nearing ,south africa have messed up by giving him a central contract. Search for a new one guys ,he s sure to flop in int cricket

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on July 11, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    SA have committed a blunder even before a balll is bowled. I know de villliers started as a keeper and still keeps in odis, but still asking him to keep in a test is unfair on the world's best batsman.

  • BellCurve on July 11, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    1 Smith 2 Petersen 3 Amla 4 Kallis 5 AB 6 Rudolph 7 Duminy 8 Philander 9 Steyn 10 Morkel 11 Tahir - with allrounders in positions 4,5 and 8. That's good team balance. But still would prefer to see De Kock at No7.

  • AllroundCricketFan on July 11, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    1.Smith 2.Petersen 3.Amla 4.Kallis 5.AB 6.Rudolph 7.JP 8.Philander 9.Steyn 10.Morkel 11.Tahir - tOTALLY AGREE WITH you @Xolile. Rudolph or JP would have to give way to Thami for the 2nd Test. Should be a good one. And lets see how Thami performs on the very big stage.

  • on July 11, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    Thami is a very good keeper, but it's obvious he's the wrong person, too old and can't bat. He's team mates will know this and will feel nervous every time he bats. If he makes no runs and England win the series, the whole cricketing world will be looking at him.