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December 7, 2006
South Africa announced their squad for the three-Test series against India beginning next week with a pace-heavy bowling attack, as expected, and a surprise recall for Paul Adams, the left-arm spinner.
Adams came in for particularly severe punishment from the Indian batsmen today, going for 54 off 9 overs on the first day of the tour game at Potchefstroom. Nicky Boje is the second specialist spinner in the squad. The other notable exclusion was Boeta Dippenaar, the opening batsman.
Adams last played a Test in March 2004, against New Zealand at Hamilton, but was often overlooked, given the selectors' insistence on pace. Johan Botha, the off spinner, had a brief stint with the team before he was suspended by the ICC for an illegal bowling action.
Adams has a decent record against the Indians, with 23 wickets in five Tests, at an impressive average of 23.73, compared to his career average of 32.87. Speaking on his selection, Haroon Lorgat, the chairman of selectors said, "Paul is capable as a strike bowler and, in the absence of obvious alternatives, we want to give ourselves the opportunity of looking at him in building our Test squad. It will be up to Paul to show us that he can still do the job. "
The selectors have also included the two players with injury concerns - Andrew Hall and Dale Steyn - though both are expected to recover in time for the first Test. Hall suffered a knee injury in the fourth ODI at Port Elizabeth, and Shane Jabaar, the physiotherapist, said that he will be reassessed at the end of the week. Steyn, down with a thigh injury, was not part of the one-day squad.
"Andrew will be monitored when the Test squad assembles next week,"Jabaar said. "He is currently wearing a compression sock to help reduce the acute swelling of his leg.
"Dale Steyn is making good progress with the left thigh strain injury he sustained. He is in the final stages of rehabilitation and should be okay to bowl this weekend."
Lorgat said that that the players would be released to play for their franchises during the Test series depending on individual circumstances.
Squad Graeme Smith (Capt), Jacques Kallis, Paul Adams, Hashim Amla, Nicky Boje, Mark Boucher (wk), AB de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Hall, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Jacques Rudolph, Dale Steyn
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