Australia in SA

Aussies expect Tahir to play

2011-11-07 22:32
Ricky Ponting (File)
Cape Town - Australian batsman Ricky Ponting says they are preparing to face Proteas leg-spinner Imran Tahir in the first Test match starting at Newlands on Wednesday.

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"We expect Tahir to play and we have already been preparing as though we will come up against him," Ponting, the former Australian captain, told Die Burger newspaper.

There's been widespread recent discussion on whether the Proteas will play Tahir or go the conservative route and pick Paul Harris.

Harris has in the past mostly been used more as a "stop bowler" to keep the runs down, which allows the South Africans to rotate (and rest) their main strike bowlers from one end. However, he's not a threat as a wicket taker and the Proteas have failed to bowl teams out in the fourth innings of Test matches when Harris was utilised.

Tahir was impressive when he played for South Africa at the World Cup in India earlier this year - when he claimed 14 wickets.

And Ponting believes the game at Newlands is the perfect opportunity for South Africa to let the Pakistan-born Tahir loose in the Test arena.

"He is a world class leg-spinner and it looks as though the conditions here (Newlands) will suit him," said Ponting.


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