Arthur weighs bowling options
South Africa will pick either fast bowler Monde Zondeki or left-arm spinner Robin Peterson for the second Test against Bangladesh at the SuperSport Park in Centurion starting Wednesday. Mickey Arthur, the coach, said Zondeki, who has not played a Test in over three years but has been part of the squad in recent months, will make the XI if they opt for an all-pace attack on a seaming track.
"We haven't had a chance to look at the wicket - it's still covered, but once we've seen what the pitch looks like, we'll make a final decision," he said. "We've asked for a lot of grass on the pitch, and for the wicket to favour the seamers.
"Monde's been on tour with us for a while, and I would like to see him in action in a game," Arthur said. "If we find there's not much grass, we've got Robin standing by, but if there is a lot of grass, we'll go with an all-seam attack."
Arthur also said he would not prefer to go into the Test without a spinner. "For the past few years, the spinner has played an important role for us - a holding role in the first innings, and a wicket taking role in the second." Peterson, who played the away Tests in Bangladesh earlier this year, was added to the squad after Paul Harris broke his thumb during the first Test in Bloemfontein.
South Africa will be keen to maintain their 100% Test record against the visitors, and Arthur said the team's goal in the second Test was to be ruthless and clinical. "We want to concentrate on doing things right and continuing with the good habits we got into in England, to make sure we're ready for Australia. We won't be taking any short cuts in our preparation and our mental attitude."
Another problem for Arthur would be to give batsmen JP Duminy his first taste of Test cricket ahead of the challenging Australian tour. "We have a really settled top six at the moment," he said. "A lot of people have said JP should play and my question is, 'where do we fit him in'? We've got a top six that has been unbelievable."
Arthur expected Bangladesh to offer some resistance in the second Test, after they were rolled over by an innings and 129 runs in the first in Bloemfontein. "If there is a bit of grass on here, I'm hoping that our batters will be tested a little bit more and that our middle order gets some game time."