Cricket

Selection headaches for Proteas ahead of first test at Newlands

[caption id="attachment_60761" align="alignnone" width="580"]South-Africa South African cricketers during the test match against Zimbabwe. Image Source: twitter@OfficialCSA[/caption]

Debasis Sen, Cape Town: Hosts South Africa are facing selection headaches ahead of the first test match against India starting from January 05 at Newlands. With senior pros like AB de Villiers and Morne Morkel doing well in the Boxing Day test against Zimbabwe, the Proteas selectors find themselves in a spot.

De Villiers, coming back after a 23 months break from test cricket made an instant impact in the Day Night test against Zimbabwe. The former South African captain last played a test match against Zimbabwe in January 2016. Standing in as a captain for injured Faf Du Plessis, he scored a brilliant half century in quick time. He also kept wickets for injured Quinton de Kock. Regular Proteas captain Du Plessis is expected to fully recover from the virus that kept him out of the test match against Zimbabwe at Port Elizabeth.

Du Plessis's return means that the Proteas will have to part ways with one of their batsmen. It looks like the axe may fall on Temba Bavuma.

If De Kock do not recover in time for the first test match against India, De Villiers might be asked to keep wickets. But it will be entirely on AB to decide whether he wants to keep wickets.

Then there is the case of Dale Steyn, who also missed the one-off Tests against Zimbabwe with a virus.

He may be short on bowling time in red ball cricket, but if fit Steyn will certainly come into the selection mix for the Cape Town Test.

With Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander, Andile Phehlukwayo and Keshav Maharaj all impressive with the ball against Zimbabwe, it would be harsh for anyone to lose their place for Steyn.

"There are definitely selection headaches coming their way," De Villiers said on Wednesday.

"If Dale is fit and Faf comes back ... I don't know. It's tough to say.

"All the guys seem to be in good form. Luckily it's not my issue ... we'll see what happens.

"We're in a really good position as a cricket team at the moment with guys knocking on the door. Those who aren't playing all seem to be in good form as well and have scored runs and taken wickets.

"We'll see what happens and take it one day at a time. I know that the guys will get the best XI on the field against India for the first Test."

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