South Africa face ‘selection headache’ ahead of first Test vs India

first_imgSouth Africa seem to be getting headaches over team selection for the first Test against India in Cape Town in the three-match series, starting January 5.Viraty Kohli-led India have been in splendid form for the past two years, breaking and making a plethora of records. Along with having a settled and defined batting line-up, India have upped their game in terms of pacers, which put India in the spot of a great contest.India will be having their own selection conundrum for the first Test but like captain Kohli has said that is a happy headache to have.South Africa coach Ottis Gibson in under a similar cloud and is scratching his head trying to find the best team for the upcoming Test.With Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers back in the squad and available for selection, Gibson is trying to figure out the best possible combination.ALSO WATCH”We have to try and pick the best team for the conditions and it is clearly a selection headache, but it is a good headache to have all the best players back and available to play,” Gibson told a news conference.AB de Villiers has returned after a two-year hiatus from the Test arena while Steyn is available again after a year-long lay-off and major shoulder surgery for the three-match series against the top-ranked Test team.But Steyn, five wickets shy of becoming South Africa’s top Test wicket-taker, will only play if South Africa decide to go with an extra bowler on what is expected to be a green, seamer-friendly wicket at Newlands.advertisement”We don’t know just yet whether we will play him in the first test but, depending on the selection, he might well play,” Gibson said.The 34-year-old Steyn has not had a rigorous examination of his injury since returning to action in November and it is a risk to play him, particularly if he breaks down as he did against England in late 2015 and Australia in 2016.”I don’t think that if we were to pick a three-man seam attack plus a spinner we would want to put him in, in case something happens and he leaves the team vulnerable if he can’t finish the game,” Gibson added.”I’m not saying that will happen but you don’t want to take that risk with the first Test. We have to look at the best combination to try and win the game and he will certainly come into the discussion but it depends on the formation of the team we put on the field.”QUICK WICKETGibson, recently appointed South Africa coach after previously serving as England’s bowling coach, said the hosts had asked for a quick wicket to be prepared and that looks likely to be the case at the toss on Friday. But he warned the bowlers they still had to efficiently use the favourable conditions.”With some grass on the wicket, bowlers sometimes tend to get a bit carried away. You still have to put the ball in the right area. However the wicket looks, you still have to play well on it. We will be playing the best team in the world, so we have to bring our A-game,” he said.(Courtesy: Reuters)last_img read more

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