Australia in South Africa 2013-14

McLaren, Parnell in for Australia Tests; Tahir dropped

Firdose Moonda

January 29, 2014

Comments: 86 | Text size: A | A
Russell Domingo: A horses-for-courses policy

Wayne Parnell collected the crucial wicket of Kevin Pietersen after bagging Andrew Strauss on day three, South Africa v England, Johannesburg, 17 January, 2010
Wayne Parnell is expected to make it into South Africa's XI after Jacques Kallis' retirement © Getty Images

SA squad for Australia Tests

  • Graeme Smith (capt), Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Rory Kleinveldt, Ryan McLaren, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Alviro Petersen, Robin Peterson, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Thami Tsolekile
  • In: Ryan McLaren, Wayne Parnell
  • Out: Imran Tahir, Jacques Kallis

Allrounders Wayne Parnell and Ryan McLaren were both recalled to South Africa's Test squad ahead of the upcoming series against Australia. The pair will be in direct competition to fill the allrounders' spot in the XI, left empty by Jacques Kallis' recent retirement. 

For the first time in 18 years South Africa have compiled a squad without Kallis and coach Russell Domingo admitted it will require a slight rethink of South Africa's strategies. "The mental shift is going to be just as important as the statistical shift," Domingo said. "We're not looking for another Jacques Kallis, we're looking for someone to step up to the plate."

With that in mind, South Africa's selectors left their options open by naming a squad that includes the pair of allrounders, an extra batsman in Dean Elgar, a bowler with batting ability, Rory Kleinveldt, and reserve wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile. The only choice they did not leave themselves was that of the attacking spinner. Legspinner Imran Tahir was left out of the group, with Robin Peterson the sole specialist tweaker. 

"We've got guys in the squad that are replacement batsmen and replacement seamers," Andrew Hudson, South Africa's convener of selectors said. "Our formula has worked so we don't need to make any left-field selections. We felt Robbie P is our spin option for the series. It fits in with the style of cricket that we want to play. We haven't gone past Imran. As an attacking legspinner he is a huge option for us when we play in the subcontinent."

That has also meant no room for any new faces. The likes of left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks and offspinner Simon Harmer were in the mix and the pair will bowl in the nets ahead of the first Test. Their presence in the setup is a sign they are earmarked for bigger things in future, and a plan to provide South Africa with extra practice ahead of their dates with Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon. 

Meticulous preparation is a must for South Africa because they have had no first-class cricket since the Boxing Day Test against India and five injury concerns in the lead-up to this series. All the walking wounded are expected to be fully fit with AB de Villiers, Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, Faf du Plessis and Vernon Philander on the mend from hand, ankle, rib, shoulder and lower-back niggles respectively. 

They will have an opportunity to test their fitness in what Domingo called a "shadow Test side" against a Rest of South Africa XI - which will be made up of the next best players in the three franchises who do not qualify for the domestic 20-over playoffs. That will also be the game in which a final decision is made over the exact make up of South Africa's XI.

Domingo all but confirmed du Plessis will move up to bat in Kallis' No. 4 spot, so the change will be made lower down. "Faf is the guy we are earmarking to bat at No. 4," Domingo said. "He got a big hundred batting there against India to save a Test and he has scored runs for the Titans batting there."

Parnell seems the likeliest option to slot into the XI, because of the extra pace he offers. "He has done really well for the Warriors. He has improved his consistency and the big plus is that he is a guy who can bowl 140," Domingo said. "He is also more than capable with the bat. He is still young and there are going to be inconsistencies in his performance but he can become a major player for SA in all formats."

But Domingo indicated South Africa may tinker with the balance of the side. "It's not going to be a set strategy like we had in the past. Something got to give. Either we will have four seamers, no spinner or only six batters," he said, although he indicated an all-pace attack is not his preferred choice and he would not like to burden JP Duminy with the spinning role. "I like going into matches with a spin bowler. If we are expecting JP to pick up five wickets that's going to be a big ask for him. He is still a long way away from being a frontline spinner in Test cricket." 

Another player whose workload has come under scrutiny is de Villiers and with his hand still healing from surgery, there was talk he may not keep wickets in this series. Public opinion has called for Quinton de Kock's inclusion but Domingo explained that could only happen against a lesser opposition. 

"Quinny is a massively talented player but a series against Australia is such a tough environment to come into for your first Test series," Domingo said. "We play lower profile Test series later in the year and maybe then we can look to blood someone like Quinton. He has got a lot of development to do as a person and a cricketer and I don't want to do him a disservice by rushing him in."

The Australia Test series will be South Africa's last until at least July, when they are scheduled to play Zimbabwe, and has been spoken of as the highlight of 2014. Later in the year, South Africa host West Indies in what is a barren Test year for the No. 1 ranked team. That's why they are hoping to be at their best for this contest and are putting every effort into making sure they are well prepared. 

Unusually, they have 10 days worth of lead-up time, starting on Monday. "That will be a big plus for us," Domingo said. "When we went to Dubai there was no cricket but now everybody has been playing. We will be doing analysis in a less rushed environment, which will also be good. Australia will always be a formidable outfit and we want to focus hard on our strategies." 

The first Test gets underway on February 12 in Centurion.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 3, 2014, 6:51 GMT)

NO Stiaan Van Zyl in the Team Awful decision..he is the leading run scorer in Sunfoil Series.Then Ter is no DeKock...oh ...Now ATLEAST select teh ODI & T20 team Based on Players in FORM ,CAMERON DELPORT,RILEE ROSSOUW,DEAN ELGAR,JON JON SMUTS,BEURAN HENDRICKS,etc...plz

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (January 31, 2014, 23:47 GMT)

As an Aussie I wondered how SA would go about having no Kallis. Obviously they need another bowler. Thank goodness they have chosen to ignore Hendricks.... bring on the allrounders...... we'll make do with Watson :)

Posted by   on (January 31, 2014, 14:13 GMT)

Robbie P is only there because he is the best spinner in the country but there are at least 20 fast bowlers better than him. He is only there because the coach feels we need to play a spinner, but in truth he is totally useless and would not come close to making any other test team in the world.

Posted by AKS286 on (January 31, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

Everyone is talking about all- rounder, Don't forget that Robin is an spin all rounder and bowled well against Oz. So, MacLaren can be included as a fourth seamer. Our strength is Steyn, Morkel & Phillander. De Lange, Abott & Morris are there just to be there in case of any injury. Yes I don't understand why Abbott is called against Indians when Rory was in the squad ? But Selecting Rory over Abbott does't having any sense.

Posted by SA_Scot on (January 31, 2014, 9:45 GMT)


"I have no idea why RobbieP gets selected. He is the worst cricketer to have played for the Proteas ever.""

What the hell man! Robbie P is not a Shane Warne or Muttiah or maybe even a Vettori of old, but he is a good cricketer!! And, he is NOT shaming himself playing in Test Cricket.

Yes, I wouldn't necessarily say he is the most threatening looking of spinners, but he is still effective, the stats prove it!! You want to pick someone *new* just for the sake of it, which is just as bad as selecting a spinner for the *sake of it*.

There isn't ANYONE jumping up and down as a spinner in SA, Tahir included. The last time he played the Aussies, they ruined his confidence for months.

If you're going to make such outlandish statements like *worst cricketer to have played for the Proteas*, then my liberal belief that everyone is entitled to an opinion starts to waver! ;-)

C'mon, at least have a balanced view...yours is so utterly subjective it makes a mockery of balanced opinion.

Posted by Test_Fanatic on (January 31, 2014, 6:13 GMT)

Kleinveldt? They got to be joking right? Several other players have proven they are a good notch above him in talent/ability. Abbott and Lopsy come to mind. I find the selectors going with archaic choices rather than going with the those who are going to trouble the batsmen.

And then there's the inclusion of Thami in the team. Why? He struggles with the bat and is dodgy with the gloves. He is never going to be first choice keeper in the side. So why not put the yound QDK in their? Give exposure at top flight cricket wherever possible, because surely he is the keeper for the future?

Finally, the struggle with a decent spin bowler continues. I have to feel a little sorry for Tahir. he just isn't given enough opportunity. It also does not help that he isn't allowed to settle.

Posted by Robster1 on (January 30, 2014, 23:54 GMT)

And why on earth is Abbott not in the squad as he was justifiably called up for the Durban test v India.

Posted by Robster1 on (January 30, 2014, 23:52 GMT)

Tsolekile and Kleinveldt's constant inclusion in SA test squads is really becoming an embarrassment. We all know why they are selected, but doesn't SA cricket know that their opponents look at picks like this and cross their fingers that AB or Morne are injured.

Posted by NixNixon on (January 30, 2014, 19:00 GMT)

I don't like it, but the squad for the first test is going to be Smith, Petersen, Amla, Du Plessis, De Villiers, Duminy, Parnell, Peterson, Philander, Steyn, Morkel. Lots of passengers in that squad.

Posted by Vaughanographic on (January 30, 2014, 18:54 GMT)

What is Mclaren doing in the squad?? Has anyone seen his first class stats this season? Seriously!!!! Can't believe that Kleinveldt and Tsolekile are there still. And no Stiaan Van Zyl?? Awful.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 30, 2014, 17:36 GMT)

@ jonesy2 wrote "as an Australian fan im looking at things with an expectation of an Australian victory especially when I feel the south Africans prep hasn't been great with an injured de Villiers, smith and du plessis and an obvious gulf in the middle order batting…"

jonesy, all you left out was "and a team selection policy that defies belief, that seems to have nothing to do with either common sense or cricket, and makes me feel positive about Aussie victory."

I still think that a weaker SA team can beat Aus, and will make no excuses if they don't, but why on earth will SA's selectors not select a team consisting of the BEST players. SA will win only with extraordinary performances by a few players, and the usual zero contribution by the passengers.

And jonesy - I agree Philander vs Watson will be no "rumble in the jungle." 1st round knockout is my prediction. Same with Duminy vs any Aus bowler, including Buck Rogers :)

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 30, 2014, 17:21 GMT)

@ creebo777 perfectly sums up the all-rounder question: "Whats wrong with wayne parnell?he"s the best all rounder in south africa,"

Parnell may be the best all-rounder in SA, but he is good enough at test level. He does not make it into the team as a batsman, & does not make it as a bowler. So, why pick him when there are better batsmen and bowlers? Besides, Philander is a better all-rounder than Parnell or McLaren! He is ranked #3 IN THE WORLD!

Kallis cannot be replaced. Let me explain. KALLIS CANNOT BE REPLACED BY ONE MAN! It is simple - we don't have one of the greatest batsmen of our time, whose bowling the opposition still fears, just waiting to come into the team. It won't happen again.

Pick the best batsmen & bowlers. Discard those not performing. Don't try to replace Kallis. Don't play worthless spin for the sake of playing spin.

The player with the BEST 1st class average is Q de Kock. Better than AB, Hash, Smith, Faf, Alviro, Duminy. That tells us a hell of a lot!

Posted by creebo777 on (January 30, 2014, 17:12 GMT)

"A " team can beat the proteas if its a full strenght squad with van zyl,rillee russouw,rr hendricks,de kock,abbott,miller,beuran hendricks,de lange but most of them gona play ram slam

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 30, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

@ Simon Tzu Your A team has an darn good chance own winning - especially if they play against Kleinveldt, Robbie P and Parnell.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 14:33 GMT)

At 4 wkts down we will be in serious trouble. We will have Duminy (avg 32), McLaren (avg 30), Peterson (avg 30), Philander, Steyn and Morkel left. These guys will find it tough against Johnson.

Posted by AKS286 on (January 30, 2014, 14:05 GMT)

McLaren is a mush better choice than Parnell. MacLaren is having more maturity to play a test. De Lange, Abbott, Tsotsobe, Hardus Viljoen, Hendricks, CJ Alexander & Chris Morris are better than Rory. Kuhn, Jacobs are better than Thami. But I don't think that 4th seamer is required. These 3 will capable to destroy Aus who are happy with a squib against England. Smith, Alviro, Amla, AB, FaF, JP, McLaren/Kuhn, Robin, Steyn, Philander, Morkel.

Posted by aahahaa on (January 30, 2014, 11:00 GMT)

Petersen X 2, Kleinveldt, Parnell, Tsolekile, Elgar. the way I see it, SA are 2 players short to make 11. some teams play badly and loose, some teams are unlucky, SA almost always shoot themselves in the feet. Imagine what they can achieve if they put 11 deserving men on the field. wishful thinking probably, never going to happen. Nevertheless I hope they prove me wrong.

Posted by stormy16 on (January 30, 2014, 10:54 GMT)

I am surprised at the decision to bring in two alrounders, neither of whom will play in the eleven, unless SA want to go in with 6 batters and an alrounder, which is awfully risky against the likes of Johnson and co. The swap should be a direct Elgar for Kallis with the shuffle in the batting order and JP needs runs this series desperately. The bowling attack of Steyn, Vern, Morkel and Robie remains the same. The only possible option would be if a fast bowler were to get injured and if that is the case surely Abbot is next. Mclaren and Parnel I dont believe are in the same class as Abbot so I dont see their role. Even if its a 4th seamer, surely its got to be the next best seamer who is Abbot. If SA are to replace Elgar with an alrounder, I reckon it will be a tactical blunder which will cost. Also worth noting the Centurian wicket looked dry for yesterdays Ram Slam and Elgar can spin a bit. I would have been tempted to pick Tahir and Abbot instead of the alrounders.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 10:39 GMT)

The disappointment of Protea supporters in this team selection will show when the Proteas play out this test series in front of empty stadiums. This is what happens when you pick deadwood. Get rid of the deadwood (Tsolekile, Kleinveldt, Peterson) and Ill pay to come to watch the Proteas.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

Still no Tsotsobe....seriously....

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 30, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

How can you not choose a spinner? Is this an insight into the pitches they're going to play on? PS - Aussies have got an handy pace attack too.

Posted by creebo777 on (January 30, 2014, 9:28 GMT)

He"s being pick as an all rounder not seamer,blame the selectors for not picking another seamer ,kleinveldt doesnt count

Posted by dillyk on (January 30, 2014, 9:24 GMT)

Aus of the 00's showed the value of selecting the 6/7 best batters and 5/4 best bowlers. We should shy away from trying to select the best 11 all-rounders. It works great in t20 & odi's but not in tests. Kallis was firstly one of the best batters and his bowling was an added bonus. Neither parnell or mclaren can claim to be the best seamers in the chasing pack of viljoen, de lange, abbott, tsotobe, hendriks, morris. JP can also not be justified ahead of de kock, van zyl, elgar, rossouw. Either play De Kock at 7 and back 4 bowlers with part timers jp/elgar ect.. or drop Jp for De kock at 6 and have 5 bowlers one of which is a specialist spinner (sadly it can't be botha)

Posted by SamRoy on (January 30, 2014, 9:05 GMT)

Parnell is a rubbish pace bowler. In SA there are far better pace bowlers in Beuran Hendricks, Hardus Viljoen, Abott and De Lange.

Posted by on (January 30, 2014, 8:35 GMT)

Why not the XI should be 1. Smith 2. Aliviro 3. Amla 4. ABdv 5. Faf 6. Duminy 7. D'Kock 8. Parnell 9. Philander 10. Steyn 11. Morkel Make a sporty lively pitch...

Posted by dalboy12 on (January 30, 2014, 7:11 GMT)

@Gt500 I agree completely, if SA were in Aussie that's exactly what they would do maybe they will play in the SA Invit XI but SA should definitely play Morris and De Lange with instructions to go out there and bowl fast and aggressively. Even more so since the Aussies reckon "their world's best bowling attack" is going to be all aggressive.

Posted by creebo777 on (January 30, 2014, 7:11 GMT)

Whats wrong with wayne parnell?he"s the best all rounder in south africa,bowl with pace,mclaren bowls 130kph 4th stump lines . the guy is only 24 give him time,rather him then mclaren for me

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 7:03 GMT)

Why do we keep wasting our time and persisting with Robin Peterson?!?!! Simon Harmer is a better bowler and a better batsmen. He is mid-20's vs mid-30's...everything is in his favour. I hope this is the last series for Peterson. So frustrating!!

Posted by Basil777 on (January 30, 2014, 6:49 GMT)

Smith is the blockage ; the only reason he is in the team is because he is captain. Remove him put in Kock; SA conservative approach to cricket frustrate me!

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

My SA A team to face SA...

Q De Kock D Elgar Rossouw Van Zyl T Bavuma J Ontong (cpt.) Thami S Harmer McClaren Abbot Hendricks

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 30, 2014, 6:10 GMT)

Kepler Wessels - who now works in the media and is close to the SA team reckons that R.Petersen and Parnell will start - probably the most sub-par players in Test cricket. I'm disgusted with the squad selection.

2-1 to Australia.

Thanks all I have to say.

Posted by Gt500 on (January 30, 2014, 4:06 GMT)

RSA "A" should have played Australia in a warm up game - on a lively pitch with DE LANGE + VILJOEN and MORRIS all bowling 150 plus KPH .... A big opportunity to soften up the Aussies. RSA TEST squad under done - poor preparation and if they don't have a spinner - then don't pick one...

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 3:15 GMT)

Very sad that we are not picking teams on merit. Will be difficult to remain nbr 1 with a weakened team.

Posted by   on (January 30, 2014, 1:07 GMT)

Why do SA selectors keep persisting in selecting Kleinveldt. He has hardly done anything each time he's played a test match. Selectors should be picking Abbott instead .

Posted by MinusZero on (January 29, 2014, 23:09 GMT)

Abbott had the best innings bowling figures in 2013, how is he not there

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 29, 2014, 22:33 GMT)

Is Quintin de Kock 'too young" for a test debut? Let us took to history. Graeme Pollock, AB de Villiers & Harold Owen Smith scored test centuries for SA at ages 19, 20 & 20 respectively. Paul Adams, Peter Pollock, Hugh Tayfield and 4 other S. Africans took - 5-fors at 20 or younger. Don Bradman was 20 when he scored his first ton. Hugh Masakadza was 17!

Modern top class players who debuted young, & succeeded: Tendulkar 16y 205d. Sobers 17y 245d. Harbhajan 17y 265d. Waquar Younis 17y 364d. Vettori 18y 10d. Ravi Shastri 18y 270d. A Ranatunga 18y 78d. Imran Khan 18y 190d. From just noth of out border: H Masakadza 17y 352d. E Chigumbura 18y 53d. T Taubu 18y 66d. BRM Taylor, 18y 90d. A Cremer 18y 109d.

Marck Boucher, one of cricket's greatest keepers, debuted at 21 - just a few months older than de Kock now. (Notably, he was briefly replaced by Tsolokile: it was a disaster, & AB filled in on several occasions therafter, as Tsolokile was not trusted.)

Why is QdK considered "too young?"

Posted by Chris_P on (January 29, 2014, 21:59 GMT)

On another note, Botha has done an incredible job with South Australia in totally turning their fortunes with his incisive leadership & teamwork culture along with his own contributions. I am not sure, but did he not qualify himself as unavailable with his appointment? Not saying he should be there, but would he ever have been considered?

Posted by Chris_P on (January 29, 2014, 21:57 GMT)

It looks as though my Bok fans have similar issues with their team selections as we do. Any of you guys want to swap marsh for anyone? Not knowing a graet deal of your non regular test players, I'll leave you guys to discuss the positives or such, but the when I read that first class cricket hasn't been played since Boxing Day I couldn't believe your board showed so little interest as ours! Why is First Class treated so shabbily, this is the grounding for successful test performances. I got to admit, I always have enjoyed the SA/Aust clashes as they are always tough games with everyone putting in, yet both teams get on really well away from the cauldron, shows their commitment to the game when playing.

Posted by Zak- on (January 29, 2014, 21:21 GMT)

I have no idea why RobbieP gets selected. He is the worst cricketer to have played for the Proteas ever.

I like Parnell and McLaren, and feel sorry for Tsotsobe, who should be given a chance too.

I think the Aussies are delighted not to see de Kock in the squad.

Overall, get the selectors up against the wall.

Posted by dillyk on (January 29, 2014, 20:49 GMT)

Why so many people are proposing an all seam attack, or that JP can play as a specialist spinner is beyond me...... seriously? 4th seamer should provide a holding job & support for the rest, in steyn, philander & morkel we have enough heavy artillery, works much better get them great support. One needs a varied bowling attack to take 20 wickets in all conditions, can't have all the bowlers bowling the same stuff. JP is a very good part timer, but he is still a part time spinner (no real drift or bounce, not great variety, does not play with his arc or speeds much) he just gets turn and has a smart mind. robbie P is not great but at least he is a front line spinner. would like to see guys like harmer, leie & von berg go to ind,pak,bangladesh & work on their art... play some ranji cricket maybe. The less said about thami's inclusion the better.

Posted by palla.avinash on (January 29, 2014, 19:56 GMT)

MY best playing 11 for SA smith,peterson,amla,duplisis,devillers,duminy,philander,parnell,peterson,steyn,morkel.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (January 29, 2014, 19:44 GMT)

It is dispiriting that CSA is so hidebound in it's selection policies. Parnell & McLaren offer very little as batsmen or bowlers, and there is no reason to "have to have" an all-rounder. Besides, Philander is a better all-rounder than both. SA should simply play to their strengths, and pick an all pace attack with no 'specialist' spinner, as SA simply does not have any good enough.

Robbie P will not be of great use. (I also doubt that Duminy will. He is just not performing.) Drop Robbie P & include as 1st choice Hendricks, or next choice Abbot. Rory Kleinveld is simply not a good enough bowler, & nor are Parnell or McLaren.

As for including Tsolokile, that is a joke of monumental proportions. There is simply no question that de Kock is the better player. Since become Lions skipper Tsolokile has even handed the gloves to de Kock

SA need to be aggressive. Pound Aus with pace, pace & more pace. Their batting is fragile. And stop including players who have failed endlessly.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 29, 2014, 19:28 GMT)

@ZCFOutkast: Maybe AB is 'shying away' from #4 because he is the keeper? Just a thought. After all, he's even opened in the past. Perhaps consider all aspects before accusing anyone of 'cowardice'. AB taking the gloves allowed us to play Faf as a 7th batsman which saved us in Aus and against India. Johnson would destroy Thami and I think you know it.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (January 29, 2014, 18:50 GMT)

@ZCFOutkast - Tsolelike is the most overrated player in that squad.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (January 29, 2014, 17:39 GMT)

Looking very much forward to watching Thami behind the stumps as well as his dependable batting. He has been most aggrieved so far. Why on earth is AB shying away from #4? His cowardice may just lead to Faf being dropped and replaced by one of the youngsters, while the same fate will befall hit-or-miss JP if wickets are not forthcoming to sway the decision. Will Alviro be in the right frame of mindfollowing the whole Lions story? After Gill Marcus' repo rate anouncements and the potential fortune I lost, I'm not about to repeat the same mistake. Putting everything I have on an Aus whitewash and Smith to resign after that.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 16:55 GMT)

Kleinveldt, Parnell & Thami selected, selectors gettiing it wrong is nothing new.

Abbott & QDK are far better players & QDK is a wicket keeper too...wait the selectors have said the dead rubber match after Australia have won the serries will be when they include Abbott & QDK!

Posted by betzalel on (January 29, 2014, 16:36 GMT)

Rubbish squad. Abbot should be in instead of Kleinvelt! better batsmen and bowler. Boo to the selectors. And if not Abbot then Hendricks (though he cant bat) And where is Hamer.

Though i agree with de cock being to young find someone beside him and tsolekie for just this series at least and then blood him.

I think all cricket fans should be asking questions of the selectors

Posted by ABDEVILLIERS007 on (January 29, 2014, 15:46 GMT)

My team would be: 1. Smith 2. A.Peterson 3. Amla 4. Faf 5. AB 6. JP 7. de Kock 8. Phillander 9. R.Petersen/S.Harmer/B.Hendricks 10. Steyn 11. Morkel.

Parnell, Mclaren and Tsolikele should NOT BE IN THE SQUAD!!! First of all Parnell. He's a decent ODI bowler but doesn't have the swing/seam/pace to be in a Test squad. I think to make it you have to have at least two of those.

Then Mclaren. He's the same as Parnell (just a little bit worse 'cause he doesn't provide the variation of left arm seam).

And Tsolikele. He is TERRIBLE!!! His keeping isn't anything special and his batting is hopeless. Lets face it, he would bat at #9 in the team if he ever played (GOD FORBID!). Quinton de Kock is a much better option. His batting is so MUCH BETTER!!!

Also Simon Harmer and Beuran Hendricks should at least be included in the squad! Selectors, have you gone mad???!!!

I'm a SA supporter but I'm not expecting much in this series. Our squad is not as good as it could be. It's just sad. ):

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 29, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

Kleinveldt must be the worst selection in many years. How he gets into that squad ahead of so many superior bowlers is beyond me.

Posted by Swerver on (January 29, 2014, 15:20 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa: very valid point ...but our guys are notoriously slow starters to a series; picture the A side rolling over the Test side for less than 200 in the first innings, or smashing them for 400+. Hardly the way to head into a test against the on-a-roll Aussies?

Great depth that we must have though to have so many people throwing up so many names for "___ should've been selected!".

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 29, 2014, 14:27 GMT)

Poor Shaun von Berg and poor David Wiese not even getting a look in. Fingers crossed that one day in the not too distant future they will play for South Africa in ODI or in Test matches.

Posted by punterdgr8 on (January 29, 2014, 14:00 GMT)

request to all saffers:pls fill the stadiums.this is goin 2 b one of the best test series that the game wil ever decks with steyn,morne(not vernon,although he has his own gr8 attributes)and mitch and ryano(sidds same as vern) would be one heck of a contest.the sight of 'perfume balls' will petrify the faint-hearted. batsmen shud find it tough(watto ain't a bat)and the goldies like clarke and smith(4m both sides)will find a way.warner can play well,i believe,and mark my words lyon's goin2 b handy.can't wait for this mouth-watering contest.comin 4m a die-hard indian aussie supporter!!!

Posted by StaalBurgher on (January 29, 2014, 13:41 GMT)

@TommytuckerSaffa - While I agree with you that Peterson is not a big wicket taking threat he is a bit like Harris. He bowls well enough that sometimes when opponents try to be too aggressive against him he does get wickets. Although he did get some really silly wickets from India.

I really don't know if Harmer is much better. His 4-day bowling avg is 32 which is the same as Peterson. Their strikes rates are also similar. We just don't have any exciting spin options unfortunately.

As for JP... I just can't decide. He has only played 21 matches so his avg of 32 is maybe misleading. He did avg 50 in 4-day cricket before he was selected for the Test team. van Zyl and Elgar only averaged 45. And Duminy does lend an extra part-time spin option, which has been very handy from time to time.

I would rather be looking at dropping Petersen. He had a few good years in 4-day cricket but his record over many years is a mediocre 39. In Tests he avg 38. Elgar or Van Zyl will probably give SA more.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 13:26 GMT)

My Team would be G.smith,A.peterson,H.amla,faf,ab,duminy,R.maclaren,R.peterson,steyn,philander,morkel. i think everyone can bat in this team & there is no doubt about their bowling credentials.Aussies will have a tough time since they haven't done much outside australia. Go SA

Posted by Mambahunter on (January 29, 2014, 13:24 GMT)

Well, this is a rubbish squad. However if they keep Kleinveldt and Tsolekile away from the starting team they should be all right.

Posted by StaalBurgher on (January 29, 2014, 13:19 GMT)

I think Parnell is the better long term option than McLaren, but he still makes me nervous.

Kleinveldt and Thami... ai. What can we say about that. Still let them waste their time carrying drinks while the real players-in-waiting (QDK, Abbott, Hendricks) get match practice in the domestic 4-day series. Maybe that is what it is about.

And Firdose, you say not to burden Duminy with having to get 5 wickets. Well, you can't burden Peterson with that either because he is nothing special. Harmer though is a marginal improvement looking at his 4-day stats. Not much difference in bowling and only a bit better in the batting department. Going with experience against Oz is not a bad choice.

I would love to hear from the experts their opinions on guys like von Berg or Leie. Are they too loose?

Posted by SkyCutter on (January 29, 2014, 13:13 GMT)

Third rate spinner in my opinion. He made his name by taking a few against PAK in UAE last year.

Good decision by SA board !!!

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 29, 2014, 12:53 GMT)

@Slowmo54 Exactly. I am sure the Aussies are quivering in their boots at the prospect of facing Parnell or McClaren....Neither will trouble their batsmen. However, Hendricks - left Arm fast seam bowler would have been a different story. Parnell or McClaren are not going to score 50+ runs against Aussie bowling attack - so whats the point of having mediocre all-rounders in the team?

Just watched that interview with Russell Domingo. 'Robbie P bowled really well for us in the last test against India....' Is this guy for real !!!! Those balls were buffet balls that the Indian batsmen somehow hit straight to fielders. It was terrible bowling and very fortunate !!

I dont know anymore.

Posted by OceanSaffa on (January 29, 2014, 12:44 GMT)

This squad is very suspect, I mean what is Kleiveldt and Thami doing in the squad when we have more derseving player7 in our franchises. Peterson with his handy bat, he is the same as Duminy, and why Duminy is been selected is beyond me. Tahir should always be our 1st choise, I mean which spinner doesn't get hammered? Only magicians like Ajmal dont get blasted around. Robbie he's not attacking nor defensive. I feel a bit scared about this tour... Lets hope I'm wrong and watch good Test cricket.

Posted by slowmo_54 on (January 29, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

Hey TommytuckerSaffa - agree completely! For some it seems harder to get OUT of the squad (Kleinveldt, Duminy, Peterson, Tsolikele) than IN (Hendricks, de Kock, Harmer, Abbot)!

Why Parnell? Hendricks has proved at domestic and SA A level (against the Aussies & Indians this year!) that he has what it takes as a left arm quick in the serious form of the game. Likewise, Harmer has proved he can fill the role of a containing spinner that takes wickets - as Lyons did for the Aussies in the Ashes and Swann for England when they were #1. In fact, in one less first class game than Parnell Harmer has taken 49 more wickets (player stats on CricInfo)!

Posted by cryptq1 on (January 29, 2014, 12:15 GMT)

Not to bad, only gripe is Thami Tsolekile. Surely he's not even in the best 3 so why even consider him? With Kallis no longer there the spot must go to either an all-rounder or a bowler. Playing Tsolekile will leave us either a batsman or bowler short.

Posted by AltafPatel on (January 29, 2014, 12:10 GMT)

Don't know what calculations SA goes with? The bowler who is in good form and picked 8 wickets a test ago against Pak in UAE is out of match. Veteran, poor Henry Davids got in ODIs but neither Ingram, Albie nor other like Farhaan get chance.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 29, 2014, 12:10 GMT)

@Swerver CSA has organised an SA A match vs Proteas before the Oz series starts. There are going to be serious fireworks as SA A players will be looking to prove a point that they should've been selected. I expect batsmen to be pinned on the head and plenty of verbals. Look forward to people like De Kock and Van Zyl facing Dale Steyn and Vernon !!!

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 11:44 GMT)

Thami's time came and went some time ago. Like 10 years ago. Rory is an honest trier but Abbot and Hendricks must be above him??? As for QdK not even being in the squad, are you kidding?

I echo Extra Cover's point about playing QdK as an opener and moving AP to 6. That might actually suit AP more than opener and would certainly suit RSA. Other option is to get bogged down by playing DE there and let AUS run through the tail.

Duminy needs to deliver this series; he's 29 now.

Posted by Swerver on (January 29, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

If the idea is to give the team a proper work out before the Aus series, they shouldn't be playing the A team. Include some A players, but split the Test team in two for a proper game against each other: a batsmen team vs. a bowlers team. i.e your best top-order batsmen (with the fringe and A team players providing the bowlers for that team) bat against your best bowlers (and vise versa for the batting dept. of that team).

Let your best throw their best at your other best...

Posted by rezmata on (January 29, 2014, 11:18 GMT)

Surely De Knock deserves a chance than Tsolekile. With the form of his life a specialist ODI opening batsman is better than a name sake designated test wk/batsman.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 29, 2014, 10:55 GMT)

What a Rubbish squad. No Kyle Abbott, Van Zyl, Harmer, De Kock and Hendricks!!!!!

Close-minded selectors at it again. Same old dead wood sitting in the squad. Why is Rory Kleinveld there and not Hendricks? Kleinveld is not even top 5 in the country. Why is Robbie P there, he has the same bowling skill level as JP!!!

"We want to stay constant to the brand of cricket we have played over the last few years that has brought us such success," commented CSA selection convener Andrew Hudson.

This translates to: "We want to continuously deny players the opportunity they deserve for excelling in First Class cricket. We want to deny FANS the opportunity of seeing young stars emerge in Test Cricket.

Posted by DennisL on (January 29, 2014, 10:45 GMT)

McLaren is probably there as a wicket-taking attempt (based on his ODI record is 2013), and Parnell is probably a long term investment, helping him "grow up a little". Tsolokile is obviously a token appointment. How does he live with himself? Other than that, and QdeK's exclusion (absurd!), it is pretty much a standard squad. More of the same is the name of the game.

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 29, 2014, 10:30 GMT)

as an Australian fan im looking at things with an expectation of an Australian victory especially when I feel the south Africans prep hasn't been great with an injured de Villiers, smith and du plessis and an obvious gulf in the middle order batting which I don't think can be filled with duminy looking to get a game, du plessis unconvincing at test level and if they bring in parnell or McLaren it will really put it in australias favour. although Australia are going to have Watson batting at 3 which I think is an opportunity for RSA given the importance of the number 3 position and watsons tendency to get out lbw to just about any ball that nips back a bit which is basically the one thing that philander can do, If I were a betting man (and I am) I would be putting money on philander to get Watson out more often than not. cant wait for the series should be one the greatest ones cricket has seen for a long time

Posted by PaulJvR on (January 29, 2014, 10:24 GMT)

SA should play 4 seamers always and use Duminy as a spinner if need be. The so called role of spinner as a holding bowler is unnecessary as Morne Morkel does this job well enough more so than really destroying teams. Kleinveldt, Parnell and Maclaren are all useless selections that add no threat to the opposition so whats the point. If I was Tsolekile i would just retire from international cricket that carry on with the farcical situation thats happening now. De Kock is the keeper for the future, AB is the closest thing we have to Jonty Rhodes now in the field yet is wasted behind the stumps. Hendricks should be in the team, a left arm seamer that can take wickets is a godsend really plus he can make rough for Duminy to bowl into if need be. Steyn and Philander can't take all the wickets all the time, while Morkel chips in with the odd few but never really looks like he is going to run through a side but he does put pressure on and keep runs down.

Posted by creebo777 on (January 29, 2014, 10:11 GMT)

Cant they use duminy as a lone spinner he cant be worse then robbie p,im shock that players like stiaan van zyl,de kock,kyle abbott,beuran hendricks cant even make the 15 men squad when they are good enough to be starters

Posted by Extra...Cover on (January 29, 2014, 9:45 GMT)

JPD managed a paltry 99 runs at 16.5 avg during 2013 - he must be running out of lives (despite his obvious potential) with the likes of Miller, van Zyl & de Kock in the wings. Also with a test bowling avg of 42.2, its tough to see what got Kleinveldt his place. Tsolekile's form on the field and with the bat has been poor in franchise cricket.

Best XI must be GS, AP, HA, ABdV, FdP, DE, RM, RP, VP, DS, MM. It could have been interesting to see QdK opening with AP coming in at 6 to hold the middle order together (over DE). Just shows how tough it is to fill boots as big as Kallis's. Hopefully the groundsmen do their part with pace-friendly pitches.

Posted by Marktc on (January 29, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

We have Hendricks, Abbott and De Lange....three dangerous seamers..and we go for Klienveld..who let's face it, has never set the world on fire. Bad decision. Then, De Kock would be a way better choice. Thami too, although due to lack of chances, has never been a star....De Kock offers a good aggressive batting option. SA are too conservative in their selections.

Posted by legfinedeep on (January 29, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

What more do QdK and Kyle Abbott have to do to catch a break? Won't blame them if they leave SA to be snaffled up by another international team.

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 9:34 GMT)

Very surprised to see de Kock has not been included. Is Kleinveldt better than Abbott?

Posted by MCC_Tie on (January 29, 2014, 9:30 GMT)

This is set for warfare, Biff has backed Steyn and the boys against Johnson and co. the tracks are going to be as quick as possible. Hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen, its going to get interesting! PAM!

Posted by wanatawu on (January 29, 2014, 9:23 GMT)

Please not Rory Kleinveldt against, surely Abbott and Hendricks are better.

Posted by Nightwing32 on (January 29, 2014, 9:15 GMT)

Expected. Aussies such as Haddin, Smith and Clarke can play spinners pretty well and Clarke and Warner dismantled Tahir last time. So yeah expected really.

Posted by MariusRoodt on (January 29, 2014, 9:11 GMT)

Thami Tsolekile must be the best drinks carrier in world cricket. Either they need to play the guy or leave him out of the squad.

Posted by wanatawu on (January 29, 2014, 9:06 GMT)

I think we can assume they will play on fast decks therefore the exclusion of Tahir will be justified, but Newlands and St Georges always offer something for the spinners.

Posted by lane87 on (January 29, 2014, 8:58 GMT)

of course I meant simon harmer #headdesk

Posted by creebo777 on (January 29, 2014, 8:48 GMT)

Rory kleinveldt? Selecters should be fired for real,poor team selection in t20,odis and test,when morkel got injured against india ,abbott was ahead of him to play but he gets pick and not abbott,van zyl for elgar,de kock for thami

Posted by vallemj on (January 29, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

Thami Tsolekile the only Quota in the side , Although I would of put Hendricks instead of Klienveldt other than that a decent side.

Posted by lane87 on (January 29, 2014, 8:46 GMT)

I fear the SA selectors have missed a trick here in selecting too conservatively. Personally I feel selecting De Kock over Tsolekile and either Hendricks (preferable as he is a left armer) or Abbot in place of Rory Kleinveldt (overweight and average) would have given this squad some serious edge.

Glad to see Beuran and Steve Harmer in the nets group at least. They must use the opportunity to stake a claim if there is an injury to one of the frontliners.

I guess my dream of watching Dale, Vern, Morne and Beuran rip the Aussies apart on day 1 at Newlands will have to be abandoned :(

Posted by   on (January 29, 2014, 8:45 GMT)

Squad as was expected, just wish we would get rid of Rory Kleinveldt. He is an average provincial bowler at best. Enough youngsters to call up in his place that are better and could do with some exposure.

Posted by ArvindPillay on (January 29, 2014, 8:32 GMT)

Though i understand Tahir is in poor form I believe he could hav troubled the Aussies who r not gr8 against Spinners like India/ Pakistan (SAs previous opponents)

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