South Africa in England 2012

Smith and Kallis fit after injury scares

Firdose Moonda in Derby

August 9, 2012

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A

Graeme Smith went down with what looked like a knee injury, England v South Africa, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 3rd day, August 4, 2012
Graeme Smith slid awkwardly on the outfield towards the end of the third day at Headingley © Getty Images
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Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis have been given the all clear by South Africa's medical staff ahead of the team's two-day tour match against Derbyshire, which starts on Friday.

Both will be available for selection for the game after overcoming a knee ligament injury and lower back spasms respectively. Opening batsmen Alviro Petersen is unlikely to play as he still requires a few days to recover from a grade one hamstring strain which he picked up in the Headingley Test. Albie Morkel, the allrounder, is only partially fit and will play solely as a batsman.

Mohammed Moosajee, the South African team manager, said: "Graeme has fully recovered from the minor ligament sprain to his left knee and we also have positive feedback from Jacques, who has responded well to treatment following the acute back spasms that he suffered during the Test,"

Kallis has had an increasing number problems with his back in recent years, something put down to the burden on his body after 17 years of playing international cricket. He responded to treatment in a short space of time though, which Smith said was a sign of his resilience and the way he is managed by the support staff.

Kallis' back seized up on the third afternoon of the match and he was immobile for the entire fourth day. After extensive physiotherapy he returned on the final day and batted and bowled with no sign of discomfort.

"Alviro is progressing well with rehab after the grade one hamstring strain he sustained at Headingley but he is unlikely to feature in the tour match against Derbyshire," Moosajee said. "He will be focusing on his rehabilitation with the aim of making sure he is fully fit for the final Test at Lord's."

Petersen also missed the first warm-up on tour, against Somerset in Taunton, after he hurt a joint in his foot whole out jogging. His absence from the team will open the door for Faf du Plessis, who was included in the squad before the second Test, to play his first match in whites for a South Africa team.

Du Plessis was brought in as cover for Morkel who hurt his left ankle but has made good progress. "Albie's has responded well to the cortisone injection he received last week," Moosajee said. "Our physiotherapist, Brandon Jackson, will work on getting him to full bowling fitness during the coming week."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by o-bomb on (August 10, 2012, 15:31 GMT)

@Swerver - yes leaving out Swann was a poor decision. I think the pressure is on England to change in order to win. South Africa don't need to make any changes so it would be a bold decision to do so. As I said; it would be intimidating to bowl at 8 batsmen. I don't see it happening though. It wouldn't surprise me if SA stuck with the same balance and England just recalled Swann for either Bresnan or Finn. I'd rather see us play 5 bowlers, but that's a different story.

Posted by Swerver on (August 10, 2012, 11:51 GMT)

@o-bomb - you have a point regarding less pressure on individuals, however the English have been forced into reactionary cricket because they have to win and seeing how they'd respond to SA even hinting at that change would be really interesting. Not that SA needs to play psych games (the Eng change room doesn't require help with that at the moment anyway) but with the obvious error in leaving out Swann playing on their minds, what would they do if they thought they were going to face a wall of batsmen? Drop Bresnan or Finn for Swann? Leave out a batsman to bring him back? …tough picks whichever way they go.

@3rd_Slip - agreed, the no.1 ranking isn't as important as consistency because that will just follow naturally, but doesn't that mean consistently winning series? 1-0 or 2-0 for this one doesn't matter surely? I like the Faff for Rudolph btw, that can also work.

Posted by satish619chandar on (August 10, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

@Swerver : Faf in for Alviro with Rudolph opening is fine but Faf is for Tahir would be the most ridiculous decision to make.. Tahir has been the best spinner on the tour and it would be shame if such decision is made.. I don't thin the combo of Smith and Gary would come with this howler before the start of the game..

Posted by o-bomb on (August 10, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

@Swerver - that'd be a big call for SA to make, but it could have the wrong effect on the other batters. They could (indivudually) go into the game thinking it doesn't matter as much if they fail because they have so many other batters to score the runs. In the last Ashes test in '05 we played a 7th batsman (Collingwood) in order to try to force the draw and it nearly backfired. We would have lost that match (and drawn the series therefore failing to win back the Ashes) but for 1 player's dominant innings. It would be intimidating though to bowl against a batting line up containing 8 batsmen.

Posted by 3rd_Slip on (August 10, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

The number 1 test ranking is not the priority for the Saffers...playing consistently good test cricket is. England need to learn from that becuase its more embarssing when you claim to be number 1 and get white washed by Pakistan. I suspect SA will go in with an unchanged team and would want to bat first...if there is a change to be made, it will be Rudolph for Faff

Posted by Swerver on (August 10, 2012, 7:05 GMT)

Here's a thought on selection for the final test: England HAVE to win to level the series while SA only have to not lose it to take "the title" …as much as I don't like the idea of leaving out an attacking spinner, leave out Tahir for du Plessis and bat him at 8. That makes it 8 genuine batsmen with a tail of only the three quickies. Duminy, du Plessis and Rudolf can provide spin if needed, while with a fit Kallis there is a four pronged seam attack - I'd think that's enough bowling options for any captain. It's admittedly a defensive selection, but it'll force England to try to remove 16 proper batting wickets in the five days, and it's all about winning the series and becoming number one …right?

Posted by oppasidp on (August 10, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

Even though iam an indian, i love South african team than any other in the world.Its nice to here Kallis & Smtih are fit to play. My Opinion is let them take rest & play at Lords for the final Test.Give the chance to other tour boys to play. B'coz these two guys are more important to plan the final test.

Any way, i wish SA to win the final test & become No.1 team in test rankings. Also i wish them to win WorldT20.

Posted by satish619chandar on (August 10, 2012, 2:38 GMT)

Great news.. Hope Alviro too recovers and SA play with their full 11.. Same with Swann too.. Good cricket game awaiting..

Posted by SurlyCynic on (August 9, 2012, 22:06 GMT)

People like to comment on Kallis's heavy build but his bowling is based on his strong shoulders and he's done a lot of work in the gym with weights to keep his bowling going. There aren't many people in their late 30s who can still bowl at the pace he can, let alone do it after a long innings with the bat.

Posted by jabrankundi on (August 9, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

No trimming down necessary. They have never been injured because of their weight or over weight.

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