The Proteas received some good news on the injury front on Thursday, with Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla passed fit for the final Test against Pakistan at the Wanderers.
Markram was more in doubt than Amla (arm) due to a thigh problem, and the right-handed opener had to come through a fitness test at the Wanderers to be able to play.
But Cricket South Africa announced that Markram is good to go, so who should line up for the Proteas in Johannesburg on Friday morning?
Here’s our XI...
1 Dean Elgar: Stand-in captain for Faf du Plessis, Elgar made a 50 in the second innings at Centurion, but was dismissed for 20 in his first Newlands knock. Would want to set the tone with a big one as the skipper.
2 Aiden Markram: Played some splendid shots in a high-class 78 in Cape Town, and now that he has been passed fit, a three-figure score would be the ideal outcome.
3 Hashim Amla: The ‘Bearded Wonder’ looked to have found his touch at Centurion with 63 not out, and was unlucky to be bowled at Newlands when the ball deviated sharply to hit leg-stump.
4 Temba Bavuma: It’s time for Temba Bavuma to take command of the No 4 spot in the batting line-up. Theunis de Bruyn has appeared to be out of nick in this series, so this could be Bavuma’s big chance after his gritty 75.
5 Zubayr Hamza: The Cape Cobras right-hander has been waiting patiently for his entry into the ultimate arena, and captain Faf du Plessis’ suspension will provide him with that opportunity. Able to play in an attacking manner, and can also graft if necessary.
6 Quinton de Kock: Now one of the leaders in the side, De Kock has played some top innings in the two Tests so far, and would want to finish off in style in his backyard.
7 Vernon Philander: Just two wickets at Newlands upon his return to the side, Philander may get more out of the quicker Wanderers track. His batting will also be valuable if the Proteas go with five specialist bowlers.
8 Kagiso Rabada: Getting more menacing as the series has worn on, Rabada is bowling with fire. A 50 with the bat wouldn’t hurt either…
9 Keshav Maharaj: Unfortunate to miss out at Newlands, and with De Bruyn battling to make runs, Maharaj can add some variety to the SA attack and make an important contribution with the ball.
10 Dale Steyn: His four-fer at Newlands would’ve done a lot to boost his confidence. Still bowling above 140km/h, and his throat-ball is as vicious as ever.
11 Duanne Olivier: A dream series so far, Olivier will try to bang it in again and get his rewards out of the Wanderers pitch.@ashfakmohamed