Australia in South Africa 2013-14 January 28, 2014

Parnell, McLaren likely for Australia Tests

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Ryan McLaren and Wayne Parnell are likely to be included in South Africa's Test squad for the upcoming series against Australia. While both should feature in the group, which will be without Jacques Kallis for the first time in 18 years, only one of the two all-rounders is expected to make the final XI.

Although neither McLaren nor Parnell bat in the top-order, whoever plays will slot into the lower middle-order and act as the fourth seamer in a line-up that will probably have to do away with the seven specialist batsmen strategy that has been in place for the last year-and-a-half. Instead, South Africa will position an allrounder at No.7, to ensure they have sufficient bowling options to accompany their three seamers and sole spinner.

Robin Peterson is the man in possession of the slow-bowling role and is likely to keep his spot for the Australia series. Imran Tahir, the other spinner in the mix, may not feature in the squad at all after being dropped for the Boxing Day Test against India. Tahir could be left to continue playing for his franchise, the Lions, in order to ensure he stays match ready.

Others who are likely to be considered but will probably also be left to continue playing in the first-class competition - which resumes the day after the Test series starts on February 12 - are top-order batsman Stiaan van Zyl, who tops the Sunfoil series run charts and left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks, who has the most wickets in the tournament so far this season. Hendricks is only in his second season as a regular franchise player and has already caught the attention of higher-ups, which could be an indication South Africa are searching for a left-armer to complete their Test line-up.

That may give Parnell the edge over McLaren, despite him being less experienced. Although Parnell has played three Tests for South Africa, in 2010, compared to McLaren's one that same year, he is younger in years and seasons in the game. What Parnell offers is a little more pace, which may be the key ingredient in what is expected to be a battle of the bowlers against Australia.

The pair should have one last opportunity to tip the scales one way or the other in a yet-to-be-announced fixture between South Africa's Test side and an A team. The match is expected to take place between February 4 and 7 at the Wanderers and will replace the one-off Test CSA proposed to Zimbabwe.

With Zimbabwe's players still on strike following non-payment of salaries, Brendan Taylor's men could not make the trip south so CSA have had to come up with an alternative arrangement to give their players first-class cricket. Although the majority of the national squad have had game time courtesy of the domestic twenty-over competition, the key trio of Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers and Graeme Smith have not been in action as much as team management would have liked and this match should benefit them most.

Steyn was given extended rest and took no part in the competition at all while Smith was ruled out of the tournament after playing in just three games. Smith picked up an ankle injury. De Villiers is the biggest worry. He could not play for the Titans because he had hand surgery and is on the mend.

De Villiers is making steady progress but there is still some concern he may not be fully fit by the time the Australia series starts. If he is only able to bat, and not keep wicket, the reserve gloveman Thami Tsolekile will slot in at No.7, leaving no room for either Parnell or McLaren. Quinton de Kock, who plays for South Africa in limited-overs formats and has had an impressive start to his first-class career, will probably not be considered in the immediate term.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SamWintson92 on January 28, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    1. Thami Tsolekile has very ordinary domestic stats. He's just not good enough to feature in the test side unless miracles like topping the batting chart or averaging over 50s or 60s in the ongoing FC season. By the way, 28 years Dane Vilas is also in the run and has better stats than Tsolekile. Vilas averages 42 in FC. 2. If De Villiers isn't able to keep, then it's time SA should include De Kock in place of retired Kalllis. 3. If De Villiers can keep then I prefer McLaren at no 7. Parnell isn't worth a no 7 spot. His batting stats doesn't match the requirements for a no 7 allrounder slot. In the bowling arena, players are Kyle Abbott, Merchant De Lange and Beuran Hendricks are ahead of him.

    My test XI: 1 Smith (C) 2 Alviro 3 Amla 4 De Villiers 5 Du Plessis 6 Duminy 7 De Kock (WK) 8 Philander 9 Morkel 10 Steyn 11 Abbott Reserves: Van Zyl, Elgar, De Lange, Hendricks, Tahir, McLaren

  • on January 28, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    Alviro, Smith, Amla, Faf, AB, JP\De Kock, Elgar, Vern, Steyn, Morne, Beuran

    Beuran adds another dimension to SA bowling line. Vern with swing and seam. Steyn with swing and skiddy type of bowling. Morne with the steep bounce. JP right arm off spinner, Elgar left arm orthadox and Beuran left arm swing.

    We still deep bat and have bowling options. Mclaren has been decent at ODI's but in tests he will struggle. Parnell has been horrible and i cant believe they considering him now. Thami hasnt had any test exposure as far as i know and to play him against Australia would be foolish. De Kock has shown how he has grown in the short period his being playing for SA but JP is used as a spinner so thats a tough choice

  • Gareth_Bain on January 28, 2014, 20:47 GMT

    The Lions are .12 of a point off the top of the log in the Sunfoil Series... That said sometimes I wonder if some of ZCF's posts are satirical. I also think a big problem here is people are basing their test choices on T20 and L/O form not 4-day... In De Kock's only SS performance he made 0 & 3.

  • nitinchilwar on January 28, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    when is the south african test team going to announce??????????

  • NixNixon on January 28, 2014, 18:08 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast - luckily for SA you are not a selector. I remember a comment of yours a while ago stating that the SA test team needs Phangiso, Tsotsobe, Tsolekile and Bavuma in order to remain competitive (and No1 ranked) and you also mentioned that you will make Alviro captain and drop Smith (who days after your comment scored a 200 against Pakistan). Well my friend if you put all those players into one team then you kind of get the Lions franchise from Joburg and look how "well" they are doing. Bottom of the log, with their best batsmen being De Kock who you incidentally believes do not deserve a place in the squad in favour of Tsolekile. Wake up and smell the coffee. Its time you look at who is performing and not comment on ifs and buts my friend.

  • Mambahunter on January 28, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    @Msizi Cele Tsolekile has never been good enough to play test cricket. Brad Haddin has shown the importance of the number 7 batsman in the recent ashes. He is the guy that can rescue the team with the tail if things go bad, but you need an aggressive counter attacker for this role. If things go well he must usually negotiate a newish second ball and add quick runs with the lower order and tail. Unfortunately Tsolekile can do none of the above. He is a survivor at best and cannot make a difference with the bat... In modern cricket you cannot just be a gloveman. All the successful teams had good batsmen/wicketkeepers ie. Gilchrist/Prior/De Villiers.

  • creebo777 on January 28, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Bevuma? He is not ready for test cricket,lonwabo ahead of beuran hendricks? Lonwabo doesnt even play four day cricket cause hes unfit,

  • Pot_Blou_Gevaar on January 28, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    Mid - to long term SA national test side contingency plan no.1……… (hopefully); Arrange regular spin 'sabbaticals' for the likes of Duminy, Elgar and Faf playing short County Cricket, Sub-continent league stints. Get these guys to work regularly with the spin doctors/ gurus of world cricket to refine their skills and develop further (and I don't mean BCCI, CA & EC 'spin doctors').

    Imagine a line-up which will include a front-line leg-break bowler in Faf and off-spinner in JP, batting individually at 5 & 7. Add to this batting line-up 1. Smith, 2. De Kock (wc), 3. Amla, 4. De Villiers and 6. Stiaan. Then add 4 front-line seamers..

    Project 2014 anyone at Cricket SA?

  • ZCFOutkast on January 28, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    @fakeXolile&everyone else, Thami WILL start for the Proteas in the series against Australia, and it's time AB grew a pair and went up the order. Anyone can do well from #5. Even Matthews, Steve Smith&Sakib!

    I like van Zyl, but he should only come in for Faf or Duminy, which is not possible right now. In any case by the time that spot opens up, discussion should be centering around Bavuma. He's improving his profile and with transformation on his side, and little difference in quality&success between him&other options, it will be hard to argue against him for the middle order if he keeps up at this rate.

    Just like the article, you are excited about the raw Hendricks because he's a left-armer. We already have a proven left-armer at international level, and that is Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Lack of FC games, match-fitness etc, he remains the only prudent choice if we want one. You guys make me laugh. One day it's Marchant, the next it's Abbott, and now even he should be sidelined for Hendricks.

  • on January 28, 2014, 14:49 GMT

    It sounds senseless to say Thami is the best keeper we have and than in the same breath say don't choose him. How many no. 7's in int'l cricket have 40+ avg? Why do you want a no. 7 that has 40+ avg anyway. Your top 6 should be scoring 300+ without relying on no. 7 to score 100s. If Thami deserves to play, then play him. His age shouldn't be a factor, Haddin keeps well at 36. De Kock is a great limited overs top order batsman, but he is far from being a Test batsman/keeper. Give him time otherwise you turn him into a Neil McKenzie.

  • SamWintson92 on January 28, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    1. Thami Tsolekile has very ordinary domestic stats. He's just not good enough to feature in the test side unless miracles like topping the batting chart or averaging over 50s or 60s in the ongoing FC season. By the way, 28 years Dane Vilas is also in the run and has better stats than Tsolekile. Vilas averages 42 in FC. 2. If De Villiers isn't able to keep, then it's time SA should include De Kock in place of retired Kalllis. 3. If De Villiers can keep then I prefer McLaren at no 7. Parnell isn't worth a no 7 spot. His batting stats doesn't match the requirements for a no 7 allrounder slot. In the bowling arena, players are Kyle Abbott, Merchant De Lange and Beuran Hendricks are ahead of him.

    My test XI: 1 Smith (C) 2 Alviro 3 Amla 4 De Villiers 5 Du Plessis 6 Duminy 7 De Kock (WK) 8 Philander 9 Morkel 10 Steyn 11 Abbott Reserves: Van Zyl, Elgar, De Lange, Hendricks, Tahir, McLaren

  • on January 28, 2014, 20:59 GMT

    Alviro, Smith, Amla, Faf, AB, JP\De Kock, Elgar, Vern, Steyn, Morne, Beuran

    Beuran adds another dimension to SA bowling line. Vern with swing and seam. Steyn with swing and skiddy type of bowling. Morne with the steep bounce. JP right arm off spinner, Elgar left arm orthadox and Beuran left arm swing.

    We still deep bat and have bowling options. Mclaren has been decent at ODI's but in tests he will struggle. Parnell has been horrible and i cant believe they considering him now. Thami hasnt had any test exposure as far as i know and to play him against Australia would be foolish. De Kock has shown how he has grown in the short period his being playing for SA but JP is used as a spinner so thats a tough choice

  • Gareth_Bain on January 28, 2014, 20:47 GMT

    The Lions are .12 of a point off the top of the log in the Sunfoil Series... That said sometimes I wonder if some of ZCF's posts are satirical. I also think a big problem here is people are basing their test choices on T20 and L/O form not 4-day... In De Kock's only SS performance he made 0 & 3.

  • nitinchilwar on January 28, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    when is the south african test team going to announce??????????

  • NixNixon on January 28, 2014, 18:08 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast - luckily for SA you are not a selector. I remember a comment of yours a while ago stating that the SA test team needs Phangiso, Tsotsobe, Tsolekile and Bavuma in order to remain competitive (and No1 ranked) and you also mentioned that you will make Alviro captain and drop Smith (who days after your comment scored a 200 against Pakistan). Well my friend if you put all those players into one team then you kind of get the Lions franchise from Joburg and look how "well" they are doing. Bottom of the log, with their best batsmen being De Kock who you incidentally believes do not deserve a place in the squad in favour of Tsolekile. Wake up and smell the coffee. Its time you look at who is performing and not comment on ifs and buts my friend.

  • Mambahunter on January 28, 2014, 17:39 GMT

    @Msizi Cele Tsolekile has never been good enough to play test cricket. Brad Haddin has shown the importance of the number 7 batsman in the recent ashes. He is the guy that can rescue the team with the tail if things go bad, but you need an aggressive counter attacker for this role. If things go well he must usually negotiate a newish second ball and add quick runs with the lower order and tail. Unfortunately Tsolekile can do none of the above. He is a survivor at best and cannot make a difference with the bat... In modern cricket you cannot just be a gloveman. All the successful teams had good batsmen/wicketkeepers ie. Gilchrist/Prior/De Villiers.

  • creebo777 on January 28, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Bevuma? He is not ready for test cricket,lonwabo ahead of beuran hendricks? Lonwabo doesnt even play four day cricket cause hes unfit,

  • Pot_Blou_Gevaar on January 28, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    Mid - to long term SA national test side contingency plan no.1……… (hopefully); Arrange regular spin 'sabbaticals' for the likes of Duminy, Elgar and Faf playing short County Cricket, Sub-continent league stints. Get these guys to work regularly with the spin doctors/ gurus of world cricket to refine their skills and develop further (and I don't mean BCCI, CA & EC 'spin doctors').

    Imagine a line-up which will include a front-line leg-break bowler in Faf and off-spinner in JP, batting individually at 5 & 7. Add to this batting line-up 1. Smith, 2. De Kock (wc), 3. Amla, 4. De Villiers and 6. Stiaan. Then add 4 front-line seamers..

    Project 2014 anyone at Cricket SA?

  • ZCFOutkast on January 28, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    @fakeXolile&everyone else, Thami WILL start for the Proteas in the series against Australia, and it's time AB grew a pair and went up the order. Anyone can do well from #5. Even Matthews, Steve Smith&Sakib!

    I like van Zyl, but he should only come in for Faf or Duminy, which is not possible right now. In any case by the time that spot opens up, discussion should be centering around Bavuma. He's improving his profile and with transformation on his side, and little difference in quality&success between him&other options, it will be hard to argue against him for the middle order if he keeps up at this rate.

    Just like the article, you are excited about the raw Hendricks because he's a left-armer. We already have a proven left-armer at international level, and that is Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Lack of FC games, match-fitness etc, he remains the only prudent choice if we want one. You guys make me laugh. One day it's Marchant, the next it's Abbott, and now even he should be sidelined for Hendricks.

  • on January 28, 2014, 14:49 GMT

    It sounds senseless to say Thami is the best keeper we have and than in the same breath say don't choose him. How many no. 7's in int'l cricket have 40+ avg? Why do you want a no. 7 that has 40+ avg anyway. Your top 6 should be scoring 300+ without relying on no. 7 to score 100s. If Thami deserves to play, then play him. His age shouldn't be a factor, Haddin keeps well at 36. De Kock is a great limited overs top order batsman, but he is far from being a Test batsman/keeper. Give him time otherwise you turn him into a Neil McKenzie.

  • anshu.s on January 28, 2014, 14:13 GMT

    @Mitty2, i always thought of you to be a wise head always posting sensibily and taking the raw emotion out of it,but your assertion hinting that curators in SA deliberately doctered the pitch to suit Indian team is ridiculous and faulty and questioning the intergrity of CSA curators , most of the SA supporters here will vouch for that, did you not watch the first test at Wanderes, ball was doing all kind of things for first three days, such was the help from wicket that even the Indian bowlers looked menacing in first innings, only reason grass was shaved for the Durban pitch was there was hell lot of rain in Durban leading up to the match , anyways South African pace attack can get more out of flat decks rather than leaving extra grass on it and thus bringing Indian seamers who rely on swing and seam in equation, cmmon mate you are lot better than spewing consipiracy theories and posting sarcastic remarks on Ind vs NZ page.

  • BellCurve on January 28, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    @ZFOutkast - Thami clubbed a hundred against Aus A on a very flat track a few months ago. But that is all he has done in about 15 months. It's time for you to find a new horse to back. What about Zondo or Dala? My XI remains: 1 Smit 2 Petersen 3 Amla 4 Van Zyl 5 De Villiers 6 Faf 7 Duminy 8 Philander 9 Steyn 10 Morkel 11 Hendriks

  • creebo777 on January 28, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    I can see parnell make an impact with his pace but not mclaren,not gona trouble international batsmen,

  • TommytuckerSaffa on January 28, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    @ZCF Outcast I'm about excited as your team selectio. Not because you picked Thami- he is the best keeper in SA needs mg reduce workload. But because you have JP and RPetersen in the same team, both players have the same skill level with the ball but only one of them is a top order batsman. Having both in the team is pointless in my opinion as you could have Abbott or Hendricks instead, giving you an extra steamer.

    We've been down this road before. Steyn and Vern build great pressure then Robbie P or Tahir come on as change bowlers and get smacked all around the ground.

  • Mambahunter on January 28, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast. You are wrong mate. Against Johnson, Harris and Siddle Thami will probably pass 20 only once in the series. In his last 10 provincial matches he passed 20 only once and it was 27*. Pick de Kock, Van Zyl, Elgar, McLaren or Parnell and the team will do well. Just leave TT out, he will be Australia's only chance...

  • ZCFOutkast on January 28, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    I can understand the discussion around having an alrounder as an option, but that should be a reserve player. As it is whatever spinner we pick is merely a passenger in the team, and neither Parnell nor McLaren will have any significant impact with the ball just like any of our spinners.

    On the other hand, the selection of Tsolekile will have a clear impact in the side. Maturity&experience in the middle, we're guaranteed to get an average of 35+ from him, which is higher than what Boucher gave us, but most importantly, AB should play in the important number 4 position and adjust to it without any other burden. Between RobbieP, Philander&Steyn there's enough penetration with the ball, plus able-batting to compensate. The Proteas are rarely bowled out twice anyway so stop making needless noises about Thami's weaknesses! Duminy+Faf+Smith+AB can share enough overs between them to cover for Jacques.

    Smith, Alviro, Amla, AB, Duminy, Faf, Tsolekile(wk), RobbieP, Philander, Steyn, Morkel.

  • Mitty2 on January 28, 2014, 12:50 GMT

    @tommytuckersaffa, as you do in the batting. Don't worry I've made the same comments at the time during your series, no coincidence that when India tour the pitches have changed completely (to their favour). But of course, as is testament to SA's class it had no bearing on the series result.

    @Cricketeer, cheers, sounds like proper test wickets! Anything that allows for all three departments to prosper at some point should be the type of pitch that all countries should follow. Will be taking keen interest in the variety of wickets in the series - even in Aus that was once renowned for its variety is producing more of the same wickets - as SA's pitches have always been compared to ours (visa versa).

  • TommytuckerSaffa on January 28, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    Guys, these Thami debates are pointless. AB will keep wicket. Who cares which wicketkeeper is in the squad to run on the drinks.

    Abbott in for R.Petersen. Elgar in for Kallis. JP bowls spin. Sorted.

  • Gordo85 on January 28, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    Abbott is doing all the right things right. What more does he need to do other than keep on taking lots of wickets. I guess maybe make some more handy runs a little more often. I find it amazing all this talk about Tsolekile but maybe South Africa like what Australia have done with Brad Haddin who is 36 and makes his way back to the Test team for no real reason but then makes lots of runs and makes the most of his matches. I get that Tsolekile is a great wicketkeeper but he has always been hit or miss with him making runs at Test level. I can't help but think his age should say it all and as I said to my father last year in Adelaide against Australia that South Africa should have played him then because either one or two things would happen either he would do well and the selectors would look like champions or the second one is that he would fail and then they would look rather silly indeed. I am sort of tempted to say hurry up and let him play for the sake of it. One of them is right.

  • Mambahunter on January 28, 2014, 12:26 GMT

    @ Gareth_Bain. You can pick that lot ahead of Tsolekile, the difference will be small..

  • TommytuckerSaffa on January 28, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    @Mitty2 My previous comment was blocked so I will need to be more discrete. Lets put it this way. When Graeme Smith saw the wickets on the India's tour to South Africa, he was absolutely stunned. He said he had never seen such dry wickets in his life in SA. Dale Steyn went wicket-less for over 100 runs, which is unheard of on SA tracks. I think you get my meaning....

    Business will now resume as normal as it did with NZ and Pakistan. Newlands and Centurion will be pacy and seamer friendly with something for the spinners on day 4 & 5. Runs are on offer but requires excellent technique and patience. Port Elizabeth will be slower and offer more turn from the outset - maybe like Adelaide

    SA's strategy will be to try and 'outbat' Oz on fast, pacy seam friendly wickets in a war of attrition. We realise that pace wise both teams are similar but Oz has clear advantage in spin.

  • on January 28, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson vs Thami Tsolekile is clearly a mismatch. Let's keep politics out of cricket and pick De Kock if AB can't keep. He's a helluva player and enjoys quick bowling.

  • Gareth_Bain on January 28, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    I feel like a stuck record... Mambahunter, don't quote FC stats for South Africa. They're meaningless, because 2nd team counts as FC and is at a far lower level. Quote franchise-only / international, but unless you exclude 2nd team somehow it's meaningless. Unless you reckon the domestic records of say Qaasim Adams, Keegan Peterson, Brett Pelser, Heinrich Klaasen and Pieter Malan prove they're inches from national honours...

  • vallemj on January 28, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    Really dont understand the fascination with Tsolekile from THE_MIZ. Firstly bats 7 for his franchise with an average of 30 and the only reason his average has been anywhere near 40 since 2009 is not out's , with a career spanning over 15 years his only got 27 50's and 5 100's De Kock on the other hand has only 19 matches under his belt with 8 50's and 4 100's. De Kock has proven himself against a decent Indian attack weather it was a ODI or not it was an International Bowling line-up. And on that note Thami's 154 came on a flat deck with a weak Australian A bowling line up , Dean Elgar in the same match put on 264. Keeping alone is not good enough for International cricket. Against the Aussies Thami is a walking wicket.

  • Mambahunter on January 28, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    It will be totally stupid to select Tsolekile ahead of De Kock. Look at the FC stats: According to ESPNcricinfo De Kock Age: 21 years 42 days Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St 19 33 4 1507 194 51.96 1764 85.43 4 8 177 31 71 5

    Tsolekile Age 33 years 111 days Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct St 148 209 33 5327 159 30.26 5 27 464 34

    In Tsolekile's entire career he scored 1 more hundred that De Kock and he is neerly 13 years older. TT is average, will not improve and old while De Kock is a rising star at 21 and can only improve more. Team should be 1. Smith 2.Petersen 3.Amla 4.Du Plessis 5.De Villiers 6. Duminy 7. De Kock. 8. Philander 9. Steyn 10. Abbott 11. Morkel

  • TheCricketeer on January 28, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    @Mitty2 - Centurion and Newlands will likely be good cricket wickets with a bit of pace - they wont be Perth or anything but the ball will come on ok. Both have potential to be up and down on days 4 and 5 (especially Centurion) with a little turn but both have also lasted well at times and a couple of teams have put up good last day reargaurd efforts in pretty benign conditions at Newlands in the past 5 or 6 years. Just good solid cricket wickets without too many extremes.

    At St. Georges its really anybodies guess where things will start.... but it will get lower and slower as the test goes on. Has potential to be similair to what was dished up at Kingsmead for the Indians.

  • on January 28, 2014, 9:51 GMT

    The SA team needs consistent players whom we think could fulfill their duties in the team, the likes of Parnell who is probably the least consistent player who has been chosen for SA in recent years would not be a good inclusion, he hasn't even been playing well in the domestic competition, his pace does not compensate for his inconsistency. Duminy has been batting awfully for SA recently but has managed to perform in the domestic competition recently so he should be included and his spinning will be more than useful. My team : 1 Smith ,2 Peterson, 3 Amla, 4 Faf,5 AB,6 Duminy, 7 Van Zyl, Philander, 9 Steyn,10 Morkel, 11 Hendricks, 12 Petersen, 13 Tsolokile

  • Mitty2 on January 28, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    Can any SA fans answer this, what will be the pitches be like? Will they be the turgid, sub-continent like pitches that were on show against India or the normal ones on show like the ones laid against us, NZ and Pak (few sub-100 scores there)? Considering that statistically, the performance of our bowlers rates them as the best Ashes attack ever (no Aus attack ever taken 100 English wickets before now), and that we have probably the worst batting line up to ever have a 5-0 whitewash, can you please have the flat pitches? Thanks.

  • ZainE111 on January 28, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    Agree with BaasHerman. Firdose Moonda keeps writing that the selectors would prefer Tsolekile to De Kock.

    De Kock's is about equal to Tsolekile at keeping wicket and his first class avg is ~20 runs higher than Tslekile's. And the selectors have made no comments about the matter - so where does she get her facts from? De Kock is the clear choice here.

  • THE_MIZ on January 28, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    @BaasHerman, if you scroll down to Gareth Bain's comment, you will have the answer to your question. Playing AS Keeper, Tsolekile has a better Average than De Kock. Qdk only excels when playing as batsman. As for being "not impressed" by Tsolekile's keeping, I think experts agree that he's the best in the country. The last thing SA need is QDK dropping Clarke and having his confidence broken against Aus. Do you remember Tsolekile scoring 150 against Aus A? Now waiting for someone to bring up his 1st class record of 30... Please, His batting has come a long way in the past few seasons. If AB can't keep Tsolekile must play. It's simple. De Kock shouldn't be picked on Limited overs form...we all saw what happened when Aus picked Bailey

  • NixNixon on January 28, 2014, 8:44 GMT

    Forget about Abbot, the Petersons and Tsolekile. My squad for the first test will be:

    Smith, Elgar, Amla, Du Plessis, De Villiers, Duminy, De Kock, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, Hendricks.

    Duminy out bowls Peterson most of the time and therefore I would rather include a pure batsman over having Peterson who spins a bit and bats a bat. Also Hendricks will rip Australia apart, he should have been in the squad a long time ago. Elgar a better opening bat than Alviro, and also De Kock to keep over Tsolekile. Duminy can do the spin duties and be our allrounder. No need having a lot of lower order batsmen coming in from 7 to 9. Rather choose players who do well in a specific discipline. Lets say they include McLaren, then my team will provide Hendricks vs McLaren as a bowling option and also De Kock vs McLaren as a batsmen. I believe Dumingo must choose quality specialist players. Making duminy the spinner in SA will not be any worse than having Robin Peterson bowling.

  • Waheed_Vadi on January 28, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    When we went over to Australia in 2012, Gary Kirsten had decided that JP Duminy had developed enough as a bowler to be given the responsibility as the frontline spinner in the test team. He was chosen as the only spinner for the first Test Match, but unfortunately, he was injured at the end of the first day of play and didn't get a chance to show what he was capable of.

    In South African conditions, it would be clever to try this tactic again. By allowing JP to take the spinning duties, we would be able to recreate the balance that has seen our rise to #1 - that is 7 specialist batsmen, 4 fast bowlers, 1 spinner and a keeper.

    So, my pick for the first Test against Australia would be: 1. Smith 2. Petersen 3. Amla 4. Du Plessis 5. De Villiers (w/k) 6. van Zyl 7. Duminy 8. Philander 9. Steyn 10. Morkel 11. Hendricks

  • BaasHerman on January 28, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    How is it possible that Thami Tsolekile can be considered before Quinton de Kock???? He is a terrible batsmen and really not all that impressive with the gloves. De Kock will do a good enough job keeping and is a MUCH BETTER batsman. Can someone please explain to me why Tsolekile is a better selection than de Kock?

  • TommytuckerSaffa on January 28, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    Lots of interesting scenarios coming up. I have a feeling AB will be fit to bat but not Keep because of his hand. This means selectors will likely pick Tsolekile to come in which means we lose that all-rounder bonus. The selectors have to drop R.Peterson especially for the first test and bring in Abbott. R.Petersen is useless at bowling - his main job.

    If all players are fit: 1.Smith 2.Petersen 3.Amla 4.Faff 5.AB 6.JP 7.Elgar 8.Vern 9.Abbott 10.Steyn 11.Morkel.

    Thats 4 front line seamers, 7 specialist batsmen, 1 spinner and 1 part time spinner. That will do.

  • dillyk on January 28, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    With the loss of Kallis our batting has lost the most ground. We needed the 7 batters to compensate for JP who can't seem to buy a run these days. We need to replace JP with de kock and so doing also relieve AB of the gloves. Then the ballance will be right 6batters & 5bowlers. The 7 spot can be filled by a genuine allrounder who must be able to bat well with the tail and plug an end with the ball. My vote would be albie morkel as he is a genuine bat and his late inswinging deliviries will add variety. But sure mclaren will get it. But if JP is not droped or finds form that gives us a very long tail. 1.smith 2.petersen 3.amla 4.faf 5.ab 6.de kock 7.mclaren/parnell/albie 8.peterson 9.philander 10.steyn 11.morkel

  • on January 28, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Parnell being perpetually on the fringes of the national side has harmed his development as a cricketer... He needs an extended run in SS cricket! @Jitesh: Franchise averages of keepers since 2009... M I NO R AVE TSOLEKILE T 38 57 16 1795 43.78 VAN WYK M 28 49 8 1649 40.22 DE KOCK Q 9 17 0 603 35.47 VILAS D 24 32 5 891 33.00 KUHN H 38 67 5 2000 32.26

    It would be a bad move to base test selection on T20 form... Although that's all the cricket our domestic players have been playing for a month now!

  • Mitty2 on January 28, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    Some real impressive depth for SA there. Just to add to their team's phenemonal record over the last three years (how many losses?) there's been a few around saying ridiculous stuff like - SA will go down in the rankings just like Eng with too old a team and SA's depth is not good (when they barely ever change their line up - they don't need to) - but when you've got the likes of De Kock, Abott, De Lange, Hendricks and Van Zyle on the sidelines with only one of the mentioned likely to be included in the squad, the depth's pretty good!

    As an Aussie the main hope for us is for all of the three of MJ, Clarke and Harris to perform and if one of them doesn't, we'll struggle, and of course there's the fact that we haven't lost in SA for over 40 years. As they only hole in the current SA team is the spinner, I'd be hoping that one of these 'all rounders' gets a gig - rather than a specialist batter. Just hope that De Kock doesn't play as that batting line up is too good!

  • Albert_cambell on January 28, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    Both Parnell and Mclaren cannot be seen as a replacement for kallis.We need someone who offers with the bat more than the bowl. On that note I would pick Van Zyl as he has done well with the bat in 1st class cricket and a decent record with the bowl as well.

  • Marktc on January 28, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    In the unlikey event of De Villiers not playing, I would think De Kock would be a good move, as his inclusion boosts the batting a lot more than Tsolekile. In terms of the Parnell/McLaren choice, I do not think there is too much pace difference. I would still go with McLaren as he a better cricket thinker. Parnell has never really set the world on fire. Palying De Kock as a batsman/Keeper, allows SA to include another bowler....De Lange or Hendricks.

  • craigals on January 28, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    Justin Kemp should be considered for the allrounder option...experience is needed for this particular series....

  • on January 28, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    Are S.A Selector not watching The RamSlam T20 series & Sunfoil series..can't they see the statictics of Tsolekile & Dekock..who on earth wil select the Old Tsolekile .. plz S.A Selectors open ur eyes..Bring In Dekock

  • SICHO on January 28, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    last time I checked Smith wasn't injured but just making sure that the ankle doesn't get all messy again before the series against the Aussies. The only person under injury cloud is AB, lets hope he gets well soon. A lot will depend on our top 5 this series, if the top 5 scores runs there's no way the Aussies are going to beat us. Most of their batsmen can't bat outside Australia, so what we need is runs then unleash Steyn, Philander and Morkel.

  • jonesy2 on January 28, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    if either play Australia will expect victories.

  • on January 28, 2014, 4:26 GMT

    If they decide to go for either of McClaren or Parnell I would have no quibbles. Peterson seems logical after the mauling that Tahir endured in Oz. The 'trial game' though seems reactionary as I think that the selectors should not base this decision on a one-off performance. It makes one think that they have not considered life in the post-Kallis era!

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  • on January 28, 2014, 4:26 GMT

    If they decide to go for either of McClaren or Parnell I would have no quibbles. Peterson seems logical after the mauling that Tahir endured in Oz. The 'trial game' though seems reactionary as I think that the selectors should not base this decision on a one-off performance. It makes one think that they have not considered life in the post-Kallis era!

  • jonesy2 on January 28, 2014, 4:27 GMT

    if either play Australia will expect victories.

  • SICHO on January 28, 2014, 4:38 GMT

    last time I checked Smith wasn't injured but just making sure that the ankle doesn't get all messy again before the series against the Aussies. The only person under injury cloud is AB, lets hope he gets well soon. A lot will depend on our top 5 this series, if the top 5 scores runs there's no way the Aussies are going to beat us. Most of their batsmen can't bat outside Australia, so what we need is runs then unleash Steyn, Philander and Morkel.

  • on January 28, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    Are S.A Selector not watching The RamSlam T20 series & Sunfoil series..can't they see the statictics of Tsolekile & Dekock..who on earth wil select the Old Tsolekile .. plz S.A Selectors open ur eyes..Bring In Dekock

  • craigals on January 28, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    Justin Kemp should be considered for the allrounder option...experience is needed for this particular series....

  • Marktc on January 28, 2014, 5:06 GMT

    In the unlikey event of De Villiers not playing, I would think De Kock would be a good move, as his inclusion boosts the batting a lot more than Tsolekile. In terms of the Parnell/McLaren choice, I do not think there is too much pace difference. I would still go with McLaren as he a better cricket thinker. Parnell has never really set the world on fire. Palying De Kock as a batsman/Keeper, allows SA to include another bowler....De Lange or Hendricks.

  • Albert_cambell on January 28, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    Both Parnell and Mclaren cannot be seen as a replacement for kallis.We need someone who offers with the bat more than the bowl. On that note I would pick Van Zyl as he has done well with the bat in 1st class cricket and a decent record with the bowl as well.

  • Mitty2 on January 28, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    Some real impressive depth for SA there. Just to add to their team's phenemonal record over the last three years (how many losses?) there's been a few around saying ridiculous stuff like - SA will go down in the rankings just like Eng with too old a team and SA's depth is not good (when they barely ever change their line up - they don't need to) - but when you've got the likes of De Kock, Abott, De Lange, Hendricks and Van Zyle on the sidelines with only one of the mentioned likely to be included in the squad, the depth's pretty good!

    As an Aussie the main hope for us is for all of the three of MJ, Clarke and Harris to perform and if one of them doesn't, we'll struggle, and of course there's the fact that we haven't lost in SA for over 40 years. As they only hole in the current SA team is the spinner, I'd be hoping that one of these 'all rounders' gets a gig - rather than a specialist batter. Just hope that De Kock doesn't play as that batting line up is too good!

  • on January 28, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Parnell being perpetually on the fringes of the national side has harmed his development as a cricketer... He needs an extended run in SS cricket! @Jitesh: Franchise averages of keepers since 2009... M I NO R AVE TSOLEKILE T 38 57 16 1795 43.78 VAN WYK M 28 49 8 1649 40.22 DE KOCK Q 9 17 0 603 35.47 VILAS D 24 32 5 891 33.00 KUHN H 38 67 5 2000 32.26

    It would be a bad move to base test selection on T20 form... Although that's all the cricket our domestic players have been playing for a month now!

  • dillyk on January 28, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    With the loss of Kallis our batting has lost the most ground. We needed the 7 batters to compensate for JP who can't seem to buy a run these days. We need to replace JP with de kock and so doing also relieve AB of the gloves. Then the ballance will be right 6batters & 5bowlers. The 7 spot can be filled by a genuine allrounder who must be able to bat well with the tail and plug an end with the ball. My vote would be albie morkel as he is a genuine bat and his late inswinging deliviries will add variety. But sure mclaren will get it. But if JP is not droped or finds form that gives us a very long tail. 1.smith 2.petersen 3.amla 4.faf 5.ab 6.de kock 7.mclaren/parnell/albie 8.peterson 9.philander 10.steyn 11.morkel