Botha, Parnell and Duminy out of first Test
South Africa have left out offspinner Johan Botha, left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell and batsman JP Duminy from their line-up for the first Test against India in Centurion that begins on December 16. The three players, who were part of the original 15-man squad, have been released by CSA to represent their respective domestic teams in the latest round of the Supersport series that begins on Thursday. Parnell and Botha will play for the Warriors, and Duminy for the Cobras.
The decision means Ryan McLaren and Lonwabo Tsotsobe are the candidates for the third seamer's slot, while Paul Harris, should South Africa opt for spin, is a certainty in the playing XI. Duminy's exclusion ensures Ashwell Prince will keep the No.6 slot.
Meanwhile, South Africa captain Graeme Smith has said he is recovering well from a fractured ring finger on his left hand - an injury he suffered during the second Test against Pakistan in the UAE. He had his first net session on Monday, though he mostly faced up to slow bowlers. "I was very pleased with the way it went," he said. "I am following the same processes I have always followed when coming back from injury. I will step up my batting schedule over the next two days."
South Africa squad for first Test: Graeme Smith (capt), AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Mark Boucher (wk), Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Ryan McLaren, Paul Harris, Hashim Amla, Alviro Petersen