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Proteas Test Squad v England: Talking Points

We analyse the top performers to date from each team in the 2019 Mzansi Super League.

Proteas Test Squad v England: Talking Points

19 December 2019, by: Philasande Sixaba

Proteas Test Squad v England: Talking Points

Cricket South Africa named six uncapped players in the Proteas Test squad to face England this summer in a bid to put out embers from governance issues the board has endured recently.

As part of their endeavours to put out those embers, the board has also made key managerial appointments which include a whole new coaching staff and an interim Director of Cricket in former Captain Graeme Smith.

There are Test recalls for Warriors wicketkeeper/batsman Rudi Second who had to withdraw from the squad to India due to injury and Cobras seamer Dane Paterson, who has been part of Test squads before.

Lions All-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, Cobras opener Pieter Malan, left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks and franchise teammate Rassie van der Dussen complete the list of new faces in the Proteas squad. We take a look at some of the big talking points around the squad.

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Pieter Malan has been rewarded by the national selectors for consistent performances for his Franchise the Cobras that stretch over two seasons at the top of the order.

In 10 matches in last seasons CSA four day competition, Malan amassed 821 runs at an average of 51 in 16 innings. The sheer weight of runs he has scored have forced the selector’s hand in including him for this crucial series against the visiting England side. He will push for a spot in the playing XI alongside the established Dean Elgar in place of Aiden Markram who has blown hot and cold in recent times.

Add to that he injured his hand on the tour to India which ruled him out of the last of the three test matches. Malan’s appetite for long innings might be exactly what the Proteas need as they try and earn some valuable points in the ICC Test Championship log.

Temba Bavuma’s spot will once again be under the microscope. The Lions Captain was elevated to the vice-captaincy of the Test side for the Indian series but his performances with the bat were far from impressive.

The inclusion of both Rassie van der Dussen and Rudi Second who has the ability to bat in the top order will make the selection for the first Test interesting. Both van der Dussen and Second have been knocking on the Test door for some time, while van der Dussen will be buoyed by the fact that he has already impressed in coloured clothing for his country in the last 20 months.

One of the key concerns for the new Team Director Mark Boucher and his technical staff will be the form of fast bowler Kagiso Rabada. The young quick will now be tasked to spearhead the Proteas bowling attack alongside the willy old fox Vernon Philander. But his form in recent times has been concerning, particularly in India where he only picked up 7 wickets for 288 runs in the three-match series.

The seam attack will again be on the inexperienced side, with Rabada and Philander the only seamers with matches in the double digits and with Lungi Ngidi ruled out with a hamstring injury, the wicket-taking responsibility will fall on Rabada’s shoulders yet again.

Mark Boucher’s appointment as Team Director for the next three years is a welcomed one which adds a bit of stability to ends some uncertainty over the position. Boucher boasts some experience now having played over 100 Test matches for his country and leading the Titans franchise successfully over the last three seasons. He can mould this Proteas Test side into a solid and formidable unit albeit he will have a tough task in trying to prepare a team in less than two weeks before the start of the series.

His supporting staff appointments are also vastly experienced having roped in Jacques Kallis as batting consultant and Charl Langeveldt as the bowling consultant. The combination of Boucher, Enoch Nkwe, Kallis and Langeveldt have the knowledge, experience and expertise to resurrect this Proteas Test side.

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