Middle-order spot up for grabs November 23, 2005

Kemp in line for Test call-up

Cricinfo staff

Justin Kemp's ability to accelerate the scoring rate would prove the ideal retort to Australia's tactics © Getty Images
With South Africa set to announce its squad to tour Australia, hard-hitting Justin Kemp has been tipped to grab one of three middle-order slots for the three-Test series against the world champions.

Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, intends on carrying on the aggressive approach his side have adopted in the recent past, and this attitude is exemplified in the batting of Kemp. His big-hitting exploits in the one-day arena have seen him catapult into contention for Tests, and it his ability to accelerate the scoring rate that may force Arthur to use him in the five-day game.

South Africa's selectors are scheduled to meet on November 25 to select the 14-man squad, and Haroon Lorgat, chairman of selectors, has hinted that Kemp could very well find himself in the middle order. "I think (the scoring rate in) Test cricket is now established at four runs an over, and you need a dominating middle order otherwise you're not going to win games," he told The Star, a South African daily. "You still need to take 20 wickets and you're going to have to dominate with the bat, if you're going to win Test matches."

Lorgat also stated that Boeta Dippenar was ahead of Kemp in the selection stakes, provided he recovers from a wrist operation undergone last month. Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje, who withdrew from the current tour to India to avoid a pending police warrant, are expected to return to the side. Lorgat added that Boje was still the preference for spinner, despite young Johan Botha taking up the role in the one-day matches against India. "I think if we go to Australia, then we'd want to favour experience because that is not an easy tour," he said.

The first Test between South Africa and Australia gets underway at Perth on December 16.