Proteas could play extra batsman

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iol spt feb17 AB-Centurion Gallo Images South Africa will seriously consider playing an extra batsman in the second Test starting in Port Elizabeth, convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson. Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Johannesburg – South Africa will seriously consider playing an extra batsman in the second Test starting in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, convenor of selectors Andrew Hudson said on Monday.

“I don't think we anticipated the unevenness in Centurion,” Hudson said following the Proteas 281-run defeat to Australia in the first Test on Saturday.

“There was debate around playing an extra batter. It just means reopening those debates. Australia went in batting-heavy, relying on their three seamers and their spinner, which they did successfully.”

South Africa made 206 in their first innings and 200 in their second, as only AB de Villiers (91 and 48) was able to progress past 35 in two attempts.

Without the efforts of De Villiers, the top six Proteas batsmen scored 57 runs in the first innings and 68 in the second.

It means allrounder Ryan McLaren could miss out on selection, as South Africa may opt to put in Dean Elgar at number seven.

“We need to consider putting in a batter at seven. Then we can go in with the three quicks and Robbie P.”

Hudson could not say with certainty where the change would be, but that someone from the first Test would likely miss out.

“We need to look at our number seven position, and decide whether it's the allrounder or playing a spinner. It's back to the dilemma of trying to get a balanced squad in Port Elizabeth,” he said.

“There might be a change, but it will be a tweak. We've selected a squad of 15 and maybe there will be a change within the squad.”

Hudson said the team underperformed and needed to pick it up in Port Elizabeth.

“I don't think massive selection will sort the performance out, application will.” – Sapa

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