Lance Klusener and David Terbrugge have won recalls to a 12-man squad as South Africa try to bolster their bowling for the third and last Castle Lager/MTN Test match against Australia starting at Kingsmead in Durban on Friday.
Dewald Pretorius, who was clearly targetted by the Australian batsmen in his debut Test, finishing with one for 132 off 25 overs, has been left out and it seems the intention of the selectors is to replace him with Terbrugge before deciding between Klusener and Andrew Hall for the bowling all-rounder's slot.
Neither Shaun Pollock nor Nantie Hayward were considered because of injury although the exact state of Hayward's fitness is a mystery. "We're really not sure what's happening to him," conceded selection convener Rushdi Magiet on Tuesday afternoon.
There have also been suggestions that Terbrugge, a steady medium-pacer in the mould of Pollock, was troubled by injury while playing for Gauteng against North West at the weekend, although this could not be immediately confirmed.
Terbrugge last played Test cricket three years ago when he appeared in four Test matches against the West Indies, taking nine wickets. He has clearly been identified as someone who might be able to plug up one end, although the Australian batsmen may not be aware of this theory.
Hall, who was brought in for Pollock in the second Test, made an impressive 70 in the South African first innings, but failed to take a wicket in the match, bowling only three overs. With Pretorius punished every time he came on and Hall not bowling, South Africa were effectively reduced to trying to bowl Australia out in their second innings with only three bowlers.
Klusener initially broke into the South African team in 1996 as a fast bowler who batted a bit, but spent last year trying, and ultimately failing, to nail down the number six batting spot. He was dropped after the first Test match in Adelaide in December and it seems that if he is brought back, it will be once again as a bowler who bats down at around number eight. He took 10 wickets for his province KwaZulu-Natal against Griquas in Kimberley last weekend.
A notable omission is Steve Elworthy who was chosen for the Australian tour without playing a Test match and who has taken 42 SuperSport Series wickets at 16,69 this season. Magiet said that the 37-year-old Elworthy's age had counted against him, but that he probably would have played in Durban had the series not been dead.
The squad is: Mark Boucher (capt), Gary Kirsten, Herschelle Gibbs, Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Ashwell Prince, Andrew Hall, Lance Klusener, Paul Adams, Makhaya Ntini, David Terbrugge.