Cricket South Africa (CSA) has named the national squad for the third Test and forth against England at the St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. The hosts went in with an unchanged squad despite losing the previous Test at the Newlands in Cape Town by 189 runs. The Proteas started with a 107-run win in Centurion, but were brought down to ground reality last time around.
In 30 Tests played in Port Elizabeth South Africa have prevailed 14 times, including five out of the last seven matches. With the series level at 1-1, the home team can’t afford to let complacency sneak in. The Proteas haven’t been all that clinical in the series thus far. Quinton de Kock is their leading run-scorer with 199 runs at an average of 49.75 with a highest score of 95.
A tough task ahead of South Africa
The likes of Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen have gotten starts. But the hosts will need them to convert their starts. Pieter Malan scored a patient 84 in the second innings of the last Test. Though it couldn’t save South Africa from a defeat, the debutant gave a good account of himself at the highest level. In the bowling department, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are leading the charts.
The duo has a combined tally of 22 wickets. Vernon Philander and Dwaine Pretorius, the other two pacers, have chipped in with 11 wickets. Keshav Maharaj has also done his bit, picking up five wickets. Going into the next match, the selection panel wishes to focus on boosting the confidence of the non-starting players.
“The selection panel are placing an emphasis on the importance of game time for non-starting players and prefer that they are available to their teams to help boost the competition. They will join the national team if and when required,” a CSA statement mentioned.
Here’s South Africa’s squad
Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Pieter Malan, Anrich Nortje, Dane Paterson, Vernon Philander, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen
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