Pakistan in South Africa 2012-13 February 5, 2013

No rotation for SA Test bowlers


Not rotating their Test bowlers is South Africa's main focus as they look ahead to back-to-back Tests against Pakistan. The squad dispersed after their 211-run win in Johannesburg and will reconvene on Monday, with the bowlers ordered to take a few days off to prepare for the Cape Town and Centurion Tests, which are only three days apart later in the month.

Bowling workloads are a worldwide concern and have resulted in player rotation in other countries, most notably Australia. South Africa's coach Gary Kirsten said management understand the need to monitor game time but they do not want to swap players in the Test side and would prefer that to happen in limited-overs matches.

As a result, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel do not feature in all South Africa's ODI and T20 games so they are kept fit for Test cricket. They are, however, likely to play in all the Tests and so it is required that they are managed carefully to achieve that aim. Robin Peterson does not face the same physical demands but plays in all formats for South Africa while Vernon Philander has played largely as a Test specialist but has had niggles in recent times that will benefit from a break.

"Sunday and Monday, to a certain extent, were heavy bowling days so it is important for us to give them the adequate recovery periods but enough time to prepare properly for the upcoming back-to-back Test matches," Rob Walter, strength and conditioning coach, said. "The tricky part is that we don't know whether or not the Test in Cape Town will go five days and if it does, we need the bowlers fresh enough to deal with the short turnaround in time."

South Africa spent 100.4 overs in the field in Pakistan's second innings from the first session on day three to just after lunch on day four. They had a light load earlier in the match, when they bowled Pakistan out for 49 inside 30 overs.

The entire squad could theoretically play in the final round of first-class matches, which take place from Thursday, but only those who were not part of the starting XI will. Rory Kleinveldt and Jacques Rudolph will play for the Cobras and Titans respectively while Imran Tahir, who was added to the squad as cover for Peterson, will turn out for the Lions, as he did last weekend when Peterson was declared fit.

The playing XI "have been given specific schedules for the week," Walter said. "The bowlers have been given a few days off and will begin bowling on Thursday and Friday. The rest of the players in the squad have been given gym strength and conditioning programmes to follow."

Contrastingly, Pakistan hope to put in as much practice as possible in the ten-day break before the second Test. They will play a two-day match against a Western Province XI in Cape Town from Sunday but have practices scheduled in the city from tomorrow, when they are due to arrive there.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Casper on February 8, 2013, 21:54 GMT

    @Adnan Aryan FYI I am sure it is mentioned somewhere in crickinfo - but most of the SA bowlers is participating in the IPL I am sure you can check their stats there ,... but I am sure they also learn to bowl on these pitches while they are there so in hindsight be sure they do bowl on the sub-continent and they do perform there :)

  • Dummy4 on February 8, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    dunno wat some people talk about, till date sa has lost onlyb 1 test series in pakistan which was in 2004 1-0 to pakistan just 1 year after smith became the captain of sa, sa has won 2 test series in pakistan , 1 test series in india in 2000 even before australia and england cud win a test seies in india, wev won that 2-0 , whitewashed india in india, won in srilanka test series in 93 after readmnission, we have lost only 5 test series since readmisssion against subcontinent teams. india won twice in india, srilanka twice and pakistan once all in their homes. shows wat sa has been and is since 22 years in tesr cricket, so dont talk about subcontinent adavantage with sa, u can use it with england but even they are improving

  • Gavin on February 8, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Adnan Aryan do your homework. SA beat ENg last 2 times they toured there. Dale Steyns previous best figures were recorded in the subcontinent. SA have not lost in the subcontinent for 4 years or so. If they weren't all preparing such flat pitches in fear of the attack, we may be able to get a result, one way or the other. 600 for 3 is not test cricket, its what we expect on EA cricket games.

  • Dummy4 on February 8, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    Hey guys, don't interpret the things by yourself. Let the ball decide the results... These are South African pitches, what else you expect here. Take Dale and Morkel to the sub-continent pitches, you will see that what there class is. Just a home-series advantage nothing else, take them to Pakistan, we will show you the difference of your miraculous bowling or disastrous bowling attack.... Be the hosts and let them play cricket. We will see what u will do on the England and sub-continent pitches.

  • Dummy4 on February 8, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    @pakisupporter SA last lost in 2011 in test cricket. Our 1 day team that lost against NZ only had a few test players playing in it. Junaid khan bowled well against INDIA. South Africa is not INDIA. If pakistan bowls us out for 50 we bowl you out for 15. Thats the difference between the two teams. Your only hope is that we fail at a venue where we play excelllent cricket. Maybe steyn and company must bowl underarm to the pakistani batters.

  • Ashif on February 7, 2013, 19:23 GMT

    Truth be told the 2nd match could get very intresting. South Africa have a habit of letting their guard down in 2nd tests even after crushing wins and Pakistan have an ability to notch up a gear in 2nd tests of a series after horrific loses. Still back SA to win the series though.

  • Mustafa on February 7, 2013, 18:35 GMT

    This south African team is easily beatable. All Pakistan needs to do is look at SA's recent defeats against other teams and New Zealand. We just need to take a deep breath and gather ourselves together as we have a better bowling attack and just need a little more patience in batting and "BELIEVE IN OUR SELVES AND TALENT". Be bold and attacking and give Irfan a chance. Junaid will come good - he just needs to revisit his recent performance in India and also see how SA were easily vulnerable to the NZ's left armer in the ODI's. Mix it up a little bit and don't hesitate to bowl as many or more short balls to them as they dished out to us. Gul - don't forget to bowl your Yorkers.

  • Anupam on February 7, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    PAK will be the another victim of AFRICAN DEADLY BARRAGE (STEYN, MORKEL, PHIL, TSOTSOBE, DE LANGE) which provides similar result ie DESTRUCTION at anypitch anywhere.

  • Khawar on February 7, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    I hope Pakistan team will come back in next match...

  • Amit on February 7, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    I think SA dont need to deploy there main players to whitewash a team like Pakistan but there team is more than enough to do this. Pakistan must learn to play some test by now.