Johannesburg - Proteas legend Dale Steyn has branded Marco Jansen’s omission from the second Test against the West Indies at the Wanderers as “just silly”.
Coach Shukri Conrad chose to rest left-arm seamer Jansen from the final Test of the summer and opted for two spinners in the form of Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer instead.
It is the first time South Africa will be playing two specialist spinners in a Wanderers Test since returning from isolation in 1992.
Steyn, who worked with Jansen at the Sunrisers Eastern Cape in their march to the Betway SA20 title and will resume their partnership at the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming Indian Premier League, believes that due to the truncated nature of the series the lanky paceman should have been in the line-up at the Bullring.
“Wouldn’t have left Jansen out,” Steyn posted on social media.
“You can not build a solid Test team or become a better Test player if you’re gana just rest your best players.
“It’s only a TWO match Test series. Two. Sorry, that’s just silly.”
Wouldn’t have left Jansen out.— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) March 7, 2023
You can not build a solid Test team or become a better Test player if you’re gana just rest your best players.
It’s only a TWO match Test series.
Sorry, that’s just silly
Jansen was one of four changes - three unforced with only Anrich Nortje ruled out through a mild groin strain - from the Centurion-winning XI that will take the field at the Wanderers on Wednesday morning.
Lions duo Ryan Rickelton and Wiaan Mulder are also back in the line-up at their homeground.
Conrad’s explanation for the wholesale changes, and contrary to Steyn’s opinion, is that particularly due to the fact that it is just a two-match Test series with no further Test cricket until December that he wants to have a look at the entire squad.
"It's a unique set of circumstances," Conrad said. "We don't play a lot of Test cricket, so I've got to find novel ways of finding out more about these guys. If that plays itself out in giving everybody a go and seeing how they react, so be it.
"I don't go out to do things in a brave way. I'd like to think, I think things through carefully. But I'm always going to look to take the road less travelled.
"That's where I'd like this side to go - put them in places that are uncomfortable, challenge them in ways they might not have been challenged in before, and see how we come out on the other side.
"It's growth I'm looking for, and I've got to be patient. I like brave, I don't like different. Sometimes we can be different for the sake of wanting to be different.”
Proteas team for second Test at the Wanderers: Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma (capt), Ryan Rickelton, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), Wiaan Mulder, Simon Harmer, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Gerald Coetzee.