South Africa v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Cape Town December 29, 2011

Rudolph, Prince put on notice for decider

ESPNcricinfo staff
60

Jacques Rudolph and Ashwell Prince, the two most under-pressure South Africa batsmen, have been put on notice after Alviro Petersen was retained in the squad for the deciding Test against Sri Lanka in Cape Town, following the visitors' historic series-levelling victory in Durban. But the selectors have resisted more dramatic changes despite the hosts being bowled out for 168 and 241.

Rudolph was recalled to the Test side against Australia after an absence of nearly five years but, in four matches since, has failed to take his opportunity with a top score of 44 from seven innings. Prince has managed one Test half-century this season and a useful 39 in Centurion, but endured a poor match in Durban with 11 and 7 which included falling to the reverse-sweep in the first innings. He then was involved in a horrid mix-up that resulted in Hashim Amla's run-out on the fourth day.

One option available for South Africa is to move Rudolph down the order and recall Petersen to accompany Graeme Smith in the opening partnership. Petersen certainly has form behind him after scoring 115 for the Lions in the current round of SuperSport series matches and has made 659 runs at 59.90 this season. However, Smith warned against any knee-jerk response to the 208-run defeat at Kingsmead. "A good reflection and good solid decisions are needed, not emotional ones," he said.

Elsewhere the selectors will have to decide how to accommodate Vernon Philander back in the team after he made good progress from the knee injury he picked up on the eve of the second Test. With Marchant de Lange having taken 7 for 81 on debut it will require a tough call over who to leave out although Morne Morkel has been below his best in the series. "It will come down to a tactical decision," Smith said. "To have the stocks is great. It's a nice challenge to have. The selectors like to remain consistent."

Smith, though, indicated his desire for the selectors to resist any temptation to field an all-pace attack and leave out Imran Tahir despite the legspinner being considerably outbowled by Rangana Herath at Kingsmead. Durban was the first time Tahir had been severely tested in the first innings of a Test and, unlike his predecessor Paul Harris, didn't always offer Smith control.

"It's the first game that Imran has had a good bowl," Smith said. "He is developing every game. He is still an exciting option for us and I would like to see the selectors stick with that for as long as possible."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SunAndSea on January 1, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    @ Chris Campling: Boucher's had a bad year, not merely a bad test. He's averaged just over 18 (6.67 in the series against Australia); Matt Prior has averaged just under 65. And at 35 years of age, Boucher's not really a long term option.

  • Z.Majid on January 1, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    i dont think sa must drop boucher

  • prksinghg on December 31, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    it will be good tactical move if we send someone like herath as a opener with TP to protect first 15 overs(only if we had to bat first). This cape town ground can create some drama within first 15 overs early in the morning.after that SA will not get any chance to create any problems to SL players.they dont have a good spinner.

  • mahjut on December 31, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    yeah, they are very flawed this SA team. they d have a tendency to get very over confident and then have no back up plan (and thus capitulate) when things go slightly wrong. Prince usually provided some grit - but probably isn't up to it. However, I would drop Rudolph not Prince for Peterson [actually I think it's time to drop all of Rudolph, Prince and Boucher ... not Tahir just yet but he needs to do something quickly] Peterson, Duminy and Khun to come in...but the squad suggests Peterson for either Rudolph or Prince

  • on December 31, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Some of the points made here are crazy - drop Smith, Kallis?- but at least one is very valid: South Africa play at their best when they are not expecting to win. They were beaten by the West Indies and India (at least twice in recent years) because of over-confidence. As for the players, I don't see why Rudolph should keep his place - he gets out when he should go on. I'd shift AB up to open - he did it in ODIs before he became the keeper, or, if Peterson is back in the frame, why not reinstate Prince as an opener? And you don't drop a great keeper after one poor Test (with the bat). Mark Boucher will know himself when it is time to go. One last thing - have South African groundsmen forgotten the art of preparing a pitch that suits the home side more than the visitors?

  • prksinghg on December 31, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    if SL can beat SA in durban with 208 score margin. they should be able beat SA at cape town with by an innings and 208. As experts have mentioned pitch going to be more deteriorated after 3rd day and more cracks will be visible than in durban. This is a spinners paradise. SA only spinner hasnt done well so far in these series.SL have the opportunity to record their 1st test series victory in SA.

  • prksinghg on December 31, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    experts says cape town pitch going to be little bit more spinner friendly than we expected. this is a fantastic news for sri lanka.they have predicted cracks may open even earlier than 2nd test. It looks like again its going to be a SL game again.but we need to be careful.the location of this ground is bit similar to asgiriya in kandy. Therefore there is a possibility of unexpected things to be happen in the morning session. simply SL should not try to be aggressive within first 15 overs in the morning. When we consider other factors this is a much better pitch for Herath specially after lunch.if SL had use herath in SA in the past they may have achieve this feet lot more earlier.

  • on December 31, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    I think, In place of Rodulph, south africa should call in form HERCHELLE GIbbs for opening the batting, and in place of A.Prince, S.A should call colin Ingram.. This would improve S.A batting strenth....

  • eventually.sport on December 30, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    Maybe it is time for all pace attack. Switch out Prince and Peterson and drop Rudolph down the order. Seeing that de Villiers will take gloves in ODI's maybe retire Boucher (for now anyway) and then keep Prince.

    Smith, Peterson, Amla, Kallis, de Villiers,Rudolph, Prince, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, De Lange.

  • on December 30, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    Ok, tough as it is to say but Smith needs to go. Also Bouch, Prince and, at this point, Morkel. Biif doesnt seem to care anymore; he has no fight left in him.

    Petersen, Elgar, Amla, Kallis, DeVilliers, Duminy, Smit, Steyn, Philander, Tahir, DeLange.

  • SunAndSea on January 1, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    @ Chris Campling: Boucher's had a bad year, not merely a bad test. He's averaged just over 18 (6.67 in the series against Australia); Matt Prior has averaged just under 65. And at 35 years of age, Boucher's not really a long term option.

  • Z.Majid on January 1, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    i dont think sa must drop boucher

  • prksinghg on December 31, 2011, 23:18 GMT

    it will be good tactical move if we send someone like herath as a opener with TP to protect first 15 overs(only if we had to bat first). This cape town ground can create some drama within first 15 overs early in the morning.after that SA will not get any chance to create any problems to SL players.they dont have a good spinner.

  • mahjut on December 31, 2011, 12:38 GMT

    yeah, they are very flawed this SA team. they d have a tendency to get very over confident and then have no back up plan (and thus capitulate) when things go slightly wrong. Prince usually provided some grit - but probably isn't up to it. However, I would drop Rudolph not Prince for Peterson [actually I think it's time to drop all of Rudolph, Prince and Boucher ... not Tahir just yet but he needs to do something quickly] Peterson, Duminy and Khun to come in...but the squad suggests Peterson for either Rudolph or Prince

  • on December 31, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    Some of the points made here are crazy - drop Smith, Kallis?- but at least one is very valid: South Africa play at their best when they are not expecting to win. They were beaten by the West Indies and India (at least twice in recent years) because of over-confidence. As for the players, I don't see why Rudolph should keep his place - he gets out when he should go on. I'd shift AB up to open - he did it in ODIs before he became the keeper, or, if Peterson is back in the frame, why not reinstate Prince as an opener? And you don't drop a great keeper after one poor Test (with the bat). Mark Boucher will know himself when it is time to go. One last thing - have South African groundsmen forgotten the art of preparing a pitch that suits the home side more than the visitors?

  • prksinghg on December 31, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    if SL can beat SA in durban with 208 score margin. they should be able beat SA at cape town with by an innings and 208. As experts have mentioned pitch going to be more deteriorated after 3rd day and more cracks will be visible than in durban. This is a spinners paradise. SA only spinner hasnt done well so far in these series.SL have the opportunity to record their 1st test series victory in SA.

  • prksinghg on December 31, 2011, 8:12 GMT

    experts says cape town pitch going to be little bit more spinner friendly than we expected. this is a fantastic news for sri lanka.they have predicted cracks may open even earlier than 2nd test. It looks like again its going to be a SL game again.but we need to be careful.the location of this ground is bit similar to asgiriya in kandy. Therefore there is a possibility of unexpected things to be happen in the morning session. simply SL should not try to be aggressive within first 15 overs in the morning. When we consider other factors this is a much better pitch for Herath specially after lunch.if SL had use herath in SA in the past they may have achieve this feet lot more earlier.

  • on December 31, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    I think, In place of Rodulph, south africa should call in form HERCHELLE GIbbs for opening the batting, and in place of A.Prince, S.A should call colin Ingram.. This would improve S.A batting strenth....

  • eventually.sport on December 30, 2011, 22:36 GMT

    Maybe it is time for all pace attack. Switch out Prince and Peterson and drop Rudolph down the order. Seeing that de Villiers will take gloves in ODI's maybe retire Boucher (for now anyway) and then keep Prince.

    Smith, Peterson, Amla, Kallis, de Villiers,Rudolph, Prince, Philander, Steyn, Morkel, De Lange.

  • on December 30, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    Ok, tough as it is to say but Smith needs to go. Also Bouch, Prince and, at this point, Morkel. Biif doesnt seem to care anymore; he has no fight left in him.

    Petersen, Elgar, Amla, Kallis, DeVilliers, Duminy, Smit, Steyn, Philander, Tahir, DeLange.

  • SunAndSea on December 30, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    Mark Boucher has had a distinguished test career, but with Daryn Smit and Dane Vilas waiting in the wings, it's time for him to make way. I think we are witnessing the decline of the great Jacques Kallis. He's 36 already, and some thought needs to be given to who will replace him. Rudolph hasn't looked the part and needs to be dropped... down the order, taking Prince's position. Perhaps he'll get that elusive big score if he didn't have to face the new ball. Alviro and Elgar have been playing well, and need to be given a chance sooner rather than later.

  • Robster1 on December 30, 2011, 15:43 GMT

    SA took a win at Kingsmead for granted and the consequences of that attitude was a thrashing. I fully expect them though to tear SL apart at Newlands. Another poor match for Prince will see him replaced by Petersen with Rudolph moving down to number 6. Boucher too is one poor performance away from losing his place permanently. Van Wyk and Elgar must be very close to selection for the NZ tour.

  • on December 30, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Dont know why no one wants to play Daryn Smit he's by far the best keeper in the country and boasts an average of more than 60 this year which will jump up after the game against the Knights were he has scored 95 and is now a 40 ish. Vilas has scored 250 runs this season to smits 440. Start to play the BEST not the second best because he plays for wp or something. The same goes for Elgar who also has been knocking for 2-3years now.

  • on December 30, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    On Steyn's Batting performances over the last 4 tests, alone, I would move him up the order to no.7, even if the Proteas should get a new wickie, the latter who can then bat at no. 8. Steyn will be able to teach him a whole lot about what it takes to be an international middle order batsman. Save for Amla and De Villiers, he is the only one who showed some fight in the Protea batting line up in the Durban test, and he is a fast bowler. He really deserves to bat at no. 7. He should be rewarded with this position with further incentives from the team management that he will be moved to no. 6 if he can get his batting average to approx. 33 or over. The first thing that he gets right is that he is scared of nothing or no one, which I believe is exactly the issue with just about all the other Protea batsmen, Kallis included.

  • Sinhabahu on December 30, 2011, 14:06 GMT

    I presume South Africa will finally field their A team for the 3rd Test so they can win.

  • on December 30, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    What is wrong with our sport? It seems cricket SA has taken the same approach as our National rugby side in keeping players for too long without giving talented upcoming youngsters a chance. Think of Smith and Smit , Habana and Prince, de Villiers(Jean) and Boucher. get the message! Surely a twentyfive year old sportsman's reflexes,fitness etc cannot be matched by a thirtyfive year old.Tim Noakes will confirm this, learn from him. Come on guys get rid of the old dead wood and blood some youngsters, we as the sportsupporters are gatvol!! in watching our old boys failing time after time!!!

  • WICric101 on December 30, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    I think this test aside SA will proably win this series comfortably...also i wonder how long will Sanga's heroics last (just thinkin out loud) I hope he doesnt get injured by some short balls....

  • AlanHarrison on December 30, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    If Prince means to hold his place down he certainly needs some runs.

  • MalolanR on December 30, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    @gordinho : if ur team is based on form , how cum that kallis gets into the team ?

  • Herbet on December 30, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    "Nothing wrong with our bowling. In view of Dale Steyn's batting performance, why not move him up to bat at 6"

    What? You think slogging a few quick 30's and 40's and sitting shotless for 100 balls once makes him a batsman? God, England could barely justify having Flintoff at 6 and he could, occasionaly, slog his way to a hundred. Steyn is an, at best, 8 ideally 9 so that he could just go out swinging with no pressure to build an innings. If he has delusions of batsmanship shove him in as nightwatchmen every now and again.

  • Herbet on December 30, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    Is this that South Africa team England are supposed to be scared of?

  • gordinho on December 30, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    I think we need to consider in form players such as Alviro Pieterson, Dean Elgar, Colin Ingram, JP Duminy and Dane Vilas . . . with Rudolph, Prince, Boucher and even Smith under scrutiny. Tahir and Morkel should also be under pressure having failed to perform in any of the past 5 test matches with De Lange retaining his place after an excellent debut and even though he has failed in the past Robin Pieterson is form spinner on the domestic scene at present and can bat a bit. Team on form: 1. Pieterson; 2. Elgar/Smith; 3. Amla; 4.Kallis; 5.DeVilliers; 6.Ingram/Duminy; 7.Villas; 8. Pieterson; 9. Philander; 10. Steyn; 11. DeLange.

  • on December 30, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    I think the south africans should try new wicket keeper now players like Rudi Second,Q de kock,dane vilas... should be tried

  • on December 30, 2011, 9:12 GMT

    Nothing wrong with our bowling. In view of Dale Steyn's batting performance, why not move him up to bat at 6 - leave Prince out and bring Vernon Philander into the side as well, keeping de Lange in. That would give us great seam options for Newlands as well as keeping the Tahir spin on hand. Drop Rudolph and open with Petersen. Warn Jacques Kallis that he is on his last chance. Despite his incredible record, his recent form has been very poor and sometimes a great player needs a gentle nudge - it seems to have worked with Ricky Ponting! Another failure, though, at Newlands must surely mean some large scale changes before the England tour. I would suggest that only Amla and de Villiers of our batsman are currently assured a place ... and I include Smith as one of the men who needs to show more consistency as well.

  • FatBoysCanBat on December 30, 2011, 8:03 GMT

    Prince has been mediocre for some time now. He hasn't made a ton since March 2009 and his avg since beginning of 2010 is only 30 [and he's 34]. Rudolph has looked good [and in form] in every innings since his comeback - but he keeps nicking out in the 20's and 30's. I think that his game is better suited for the middle order so I would bring in Petersen for Prince. @Jonesy2: You're right, Australia would have dropped Tahir before now [he has only played 4 tests] because they have a revolving door for the spinners slot [until Lyon came along]. As for Morkel; he has averaged 32.43 [16 wkts] this year but they have only played 5 tests. If you include the rest of the India series in Dec 2010 he averages 26.71 [28 wkts in tests and 18 wkts =top 6 batsmen]. Australia would've loved to have him in the Ashes [and every other test until Cummins and Pattinson emerged]. I'm sure every team apart form England and Aussie would have him right now.

  • on December 30, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    You can not leave Imran Tahir out of this team now, surely not. Please remember that he almost got a wicket in Durban 3 times, but was denied because the umpire was asleep once and the other two times because of missed catches. Yes the Sri-Lankans can play leg spin better than England, Australia and New Zealand, but Pakistan just recently white washed them with a team packed with leg spinners. Imran Tahir is just as good or better than any of them. He also brings that typically unknown and unpredictable Pakistani element to a team that, at times, behaves in such a, dare I say it, predictable South African manner. He is nothing less than a massive find for the Proteas. To drop him out of the Protea team now would be insane. On this point I completely agree with G. Smith.

  • sanjai_zequin on December 30, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Drop prince and include Dean Elgar or Colin Ingram. Ingram has scores two centuries for Warriors.And also give Kallis a rest.

  • on December 30, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Hey... Where are you guys now??? We couldn't hear you guys from some time now. He he he.....

  • boris6491 on December 30, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    My honest opinion is that Rudolph is not being used optimally. Fact is, he's not an opener, he's a middle order player and my bet is that he would fare a lot better when the ball is older and jagging around less. Although they probably won't change the makeup of the team, my thought process would involve removing Prince, whose impact in recent times has been negligible, and placing Rudolph in his position whilst allowing Alviro to slot in as an opener.

  • priceless1 on December 30, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    drop Prince and Bring back kepler wessels lol

  • anver777 on December 30, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    No notable performances from both of them in recent times & they deserves to be out of the playing XI............Alviro & Duminy are better options for 3rd test !!!!! over to SA selectors !!!!!

  • ami77 on December 30, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Impressive performance from a team which has not got paid their salaries for the players for 9 months.

  • tanstell87 on December 30, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    Indian fan here.....the Saffers still believe SL doesnt stand chance in 3rd tests......wrong.....the 3rd test is at Cape Town....wicket turns on 4th & 5th days...but i guess they will get a green wicket just like in November when Aussies were bowled out for 47....SL will fight hard in new year....they ended this year with a win & they will take that momentum in the new year.....good luck to SL in 3rd test....u proved Wessels wrong....congrats....awaiting India's fortunes at Sydney....happy new year to all !!!!

  • jonesy2 on December 30, 2011, 4:12 GMT

    if this was australia prince, morkel, tahir and rudolph would have been dropped ages ago. funny how that works.

  • prashant_sirsi on December 30, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    South Africa should recall Albe Morkel

  • ihaq1 on December 30, 2011, 2:41 GMT

    while being a pakistani i still feel that imran tahir is not as good as paul harris in tests...and if the pitch says that south africa should go in with their best four fast bowlers...tsotsobe i thought was a good wicket taker..but merchant, steyn , morkel and philander should be played even if u have to play four or even five bowlers...obviously south africa's batting lineup needs changing and peterson and elgar should be tried out...prince too is not scoring teh centuries and amla seems subdued ...amla could open with peterson at number three...south africa have a good domestic cricket setup and their A team is supposed to be very good...i also thought that teh wicketkeeper Boucher is'nt batting that well...and seems a bit stockier.. one has to change a team to get it right the next time..kallis and amla they used to say never fail and when both are not playing at the top of their form and prince also droppable... south africa need serious thinking on a top five batting lineup

  • Nish8738 on December 30, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    Biggest upset of the year :D so many great test matches being played this year.

  • Newlandsfaithful on December 30, 2011, 0:29 GMT

    Mentally this Proteas team is all wrong and I don't know whether Gary can fix it. I don't think they recovered from the shell shock of yet another humiliating world cup encounter. Smith is a spent force. He has lost his confidence and its passing on to the rest of the team. Kallis has played too much IPL and lost his steely resolve. He is a shadow of the cricketer he was. Neither Prince nor Rudolph is up to the standard of test cricket. Only sentiment is keeping Morkel in the side. I would be tempted to blood players like Elgar, Rossouw, Levi, Stiaan van Zyl, Ingram, van Wyk and get Duminy and Peterson back in the side. I think its time to build a new batting unit with players who still have self belief. This Proteas team has lost before they enter the field of play. They're hoping favourable home conditions will win them the game and not their ability.

  • Tjoeps on December 29, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    As a Saffer supporter I don't even know where to begin to try and found a solution to this problem of inability to perform under pressure, ever since we came back from that success in Aussie, all went downhill... In this game we had a glimpse of what awaits us in the post Kallis era... There's been a couple of run-outs over the last few years involving the top 5, and the common denominator in all this was Amla, his judgement worries me... Sure Rudolph has been a disappointment, so is Smith, the only guy that showed some guts with the bat was Steyn??? AB will fight like a tiger and loose it before he scores a 100... Good luck Gary, you sure as hell is going to need it, to sort-out this mess... Don't expect any help from CSA, they still fight about that bonus issue of 2 years ago.... Crazy!

  • TYJAY on December 29, 2011, 23:47 GMT

    I think as per the Kepler Wessels comments what we need is SA's A team.

    Bring them on ...

  • PACERONE on December 29, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    What about dropping the useless Smith.Anyone watching cricket would know Smith's weak spot as a batsman. As a captain what has he done? He has presided over some of the most humiliating losses for S.A. All the coaches and great facilities does not seem to help.The run out of Amla shows that the players are not aware of basics.When I played you do not watch a ball hit behind you..you respond immediately to your partners call..not standing and watching the ball behind you. You knew this at school cricket.kallis bowling is terrible,he will be able to produce with the bat under the right conditions.

  • Vista12 on December 29, 2011, 23:34 GMT

    South Africa seem to be just as inconsistent as Australia and India at the moment and thats why they are all 3 behind England at the moment. You know if Cook or Trott fail (which is rare), Bell, Prior or KP will score a ton. The other difference is England score big hundreds where none of the other "big 3" score big 100's or havent done so for the last 2 years (Ponting is a perfect example of this). All the bowling attacks are lethal and exciting with India unearthing Yadeev and Zaheer, Australia with Cummins, Pattinson and Siddle firing and SA with Philander and De Lange to go with Steyn and Morkel - but its the batting which is the problem. Who would of thought India's top 7 would be so inconsistent considering they have so much experience.

    In regards to SA, this is when they need to blood new talent in the top 7, either way I would bring Alviro to open with Smith. I would then either bat Rudolph at 6 or Elgar at 6 (with Prince being dropped regardless). Someone needs to take Bouc

  • duncanmoo on December 29, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    Prince basically ran out Amla to try and rescue his test career, but in the process put the nail in the coffin; just look at the footage of the change-room when Prince was ball-watching and then remained in his crease! Clearly not a team player. Rudolph deserves a bit more leeway, openers have it tough, bring in Alviro and move Rudolph down the order.

  • gularan on December 29, 2011, 22:24 GMT

    Sri Lanka's win against SA in SA is akin to the raising of the Titanic from the deep. They should now make sure that the cricketing world will not use the term flash in the pan to label this win by being consistant and playing as a cohesive unit with contributions from the top to the bottom. I'm pretty sure the settlement of outstanding dues also played a big part in this win. It is ok to lose but if lose they must, make it a fighting loss rather than a mere passive soul destroying one.This mix of talent seems alright no thanks to Mr Mendis and Mr Marsh.

  • tennakoon63 on December 29, 2011, 22:09 GMT

    Include Wessels and Donald..... ha ha!

  • SirViv1973 on December 29, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    I'm an Eng fan who doesn't know too much about domestic cricket in SAF but I keep hearing a lot about Dean Elgar. I've seen quite a bit of this series and the previous one against Aus and Rudolph just doesn't look up to the job of opening at this level. He did well when he played Yorkshire here in the county championship but his record was pretty modest at Test level before he came to Eng and I don't think anything has changed. I know Pietersen is in the squad at the mo, but if Elgar is as good as everyone is saying surely the selectors should get him in now.

  • on December 29, 2011, 21:49 GMT

    Rayno Hall: It's a bit of a stretch to say that Morkel has done "absolutely nothing" in the past three years.

    Since the start of 2009, he has had four good series; against England at home (19 wickets at 21.47), against WI away (14 wickets at 18.92), at home to India (15 wickets at 24.50) and at home to Australia (8 wickets at 24.50). In this period, he has played 21 tests, and taken 80 wickets at 28.85, with 3 five wicket hauls.

    I'm not arguing that he deserves his place in the team, given the competition he's facing. And he has had some poor series too. I just want to point out that he has achieved rather more than "absolutely nothing".

  • on December 29, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    Very informative article. It would be fair to treat Prince and Rudolph similarly however they should trade places. Prince plays spin poorly and Rudolph plays Perera incoherently for some inexplicable reason. It's not such a shame losing against a Sangakkara ton, many teams have done that. However Rudolph's spin-playing prowess could be handy at 6 against an in-form Herath and Prince will fight as opener in the decider.

    As in the previous tests both teams bowled well up front but the top-order batsmen made the difference, seeing off the bowlers (or not, as South Africa did in Durban and Sri Lanka did in Centurion.)

    An in-form Sri Lanka would liven up world cricket but it's time South Africa delivered on its potential.

  • johnathonjosephs on December 29, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    Drop Prince, bring in Duminy or start grooming the replacement man for Kallis (ideally a youngster who is showing amazing potential as a batsman). Heres the big one. Drop Tahir. Tahir is a spinner who will be great against the non-subcontinent playing teams. Subcontinent batsman are just too great at playing spin, that its almost pointless to even put one in unless you are Murali. Look at the India/Eng series in England. Swann only got like 2-3 wickets in the 4 matches even though he was ranked the Number 1 test bowler at the time. England/South African/Australian players need to know that in order to trouble subcontinent batsman, the doosra is a necessity. South Africa should put in Paul Harris, because even though he didn't take wickets he was extremely economically and kept pressure exerted by fast bowlers. If Philander is fit and in the same form he was in before, Sri Lanka have no chance in the decider

  • Sanj747 on December 29, 2011, 20:16 GMT

    Rudolph must br dropped. During the Australia series he suddenly became team spokesman and had egg on his face after Australia levelled the series. Might be time that Jacques understands that he needs runs not words.

  • Alexk400 on December 29, 2011, 19:44 GMT

    I say go with 4 fast bowler. Drop useless prince. Tahir is good against england/aus not against sub continent teams who play spin well. Get fast bowling all rounder in place of useless prince.

  • on December 29, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    Good to see Sri Lanka winning after a long time. I hope they come back to their winning consistency and give us (India) a good competition when we tour SL next year.

  • on December 29, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    Drop Boucher, Morkel and Graeme Smith. They have done absolutley nothing in the past 3 years.

  • on December 29, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    I really think a couple of changes should have been made. For one - I am not happy with Smith's captaincy at the moment. Bowling Tahir for 28 overs on day 1 of a test match?? You wouldn't even bowl a spinner for 28 overs on day 1 of a test in the subcontinent. I also remember when young de Lange got a wicket...and the next over he was taken off. Made no sense to me. His batting is too inconsistent. He gets 100 to win a game and now its all fine. Same with Boucher...he keeps failing with the bat, drops important catches/misses stumpings...gets a 60 odd and now he's entrenched in the side again.Prince has been given enough opportunity.

    We need to be harsher with our players. If they arent performing they must go back to FC cricket and prove themselves again. Much like Alviro has done. Lets see how brave we are heading into Newlands.

  • on December 29, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    Sack the test team, bring on A team

  • hashabjp on December 29, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Well i commented on Sangakara being a flat track bully and Boucher proved me wrong. What a catch!! (drop). Then i said this Sri lankan team would be beaten by South African A side which i still maintain cos the national team doesn't know how to play. We have a attacking spinner who leaks way too many runs ( ruing Johan Botha is the Big Bash). We have an all rounder is who is off boil both with bat and ball (though still the greatest batsman in the world). Upset, heartbroken but what the selectors do pick Mark Boucher again for the third test. Now third test and i still predict a south african win. My team. 1)ALVIRO PETERSON 2)GRAHAM SMITH 3) HASHIM AMLA 4) JACQUES KALLIS 5) AB DEVILLIERS 6)JACQUES RUDOLF 7) DANE VILAS 8) VERNON PHILANDER 9) DALE STEYN 10) MORNE MORKEL 11) IMRAN TAHIR.... 12 TH MAN JOHAN BOTHA. LANKAN ROARED CONGRATS TO THEM. But through thick or thin always proteas. GO SOUTH AFRICA

  • on December 29, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    hope it's not a green pitch in cape town. the pitch for the first test was so poor

  • ratedstfu44 on December 29, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    wo wo wo...what a turn around

  • donda on December 29, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    Good to see Sri lanka winning after many months. South Africa is chocking when ever a big game comes up, it was a match where they can win the series but once again they did not. SA of 90's was far better than SA of today , today SA is a real choker.

  • Nuxxy on December 29, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Exchanging Tahir for a pace bowler for Cape Town would be ridiculous. Cape Town in the best spin test in SA.

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  • Nuxxy on December 29, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Exchanging Tahir for a pace bowler for Cape Town would be ridiculous. Cape Town in the best spin test in SA.

  • donda on December 29, 2011, 18:22 GMT

    Good to see Sri lanka winning after many months. South Africa is chocking when ever a big game comes up, it was a match where they can win the series but once again they did not. SA of 90's was far better than SA of today , today SA is a real choker.

  • ratedstfu44 on December 29, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    wo wo wo...what a turn around

  • on December 29, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    hope it's not a green pitch in cape town. the pitch for the first test was so poor

  • hashabjp on December 29, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    Well i commented on Sangakara being a flat track bully and Boucher proved me wrong. What a catch!! (drop). Then i said this Sri lankan team would be beaten by South African A side which i still maintain cos the national team doesn't know how to play. We have a attacking spinner who leaks way too many runs ( ruing Johan Botha is the Big Bash). We have an all rounder is who is off boil both with bat and ball (though still the greatest batsman in the world). Upset, heartbroken but what the selectors do pick Mark Boucher again for the third test. Now third test and i still predict a south african win. My team. 1)ALVIRO PETERSON 2)GRAHAM SMITH 3) HASHIM AMLA 4) JACQUES KALLIS 5) AB DEVILLIERS 6)JACQUES RUDOLF 7) DANE VILAS 8) VERNON PHILANDER 9) DALE STEYN 10) MORNE MORKEL 11) IMRAN TAHIR.... 12 TH MAN JOHAN BOTHA. LANKAN ROARED CONGRATS TO THEM. But through thick or thin always proteas. GO SOUTH AFRICA

  • on December 29, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    Sack the test team, bring on A team

  • on December 29, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    I really think a couple of changes should have been made. For one - I am not happy with Smith's captaincy at the moment. Bowling Tahir for 28 overs on day 1 of a test match?? You wouldn't even bowl a spinner for 28 overs on day 1 of a test in the subcontinent. I also remember when young de Lange got a wicket...and the next over he was taken off. Made no sense to me. His batting is too inconsistent. He gets 100 to win a game and now its all fine. Same with Boucher...he keeps failing with the bat, drops important catches/misses stumpings...gets a 60 odd and now he's entrenched in the side again.Prince has been given enough opportunity.

    We need to be harsher with our players. If they arent performing they must go back to FC cricket and prove themselves again. Much like Alviro has done. Lets see how brave we are heading into Newlands.

  • on December 29, 2011, 19:22 GMT

    Drop Boucher, Morkel and Graeme Smith. They have done absolutley nothing in the past 3 years.

  • on December 29, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    Good to see Sri Lanka winning after a long time. I hope they come back to their winning consistency and give us (India) a good competition when we tour SL next year.

  • Alexk400 on December 29, 2011, 19:44 GMT

    I say go with 4 fast bowler. Drop useless prince. Tahir is good against england/aus not against sub continent teams who play spin well. Get fast bowling all rounder in place of useless prince.