Australia in SA

Proteas to stick with Tahir

2011-11-13 20:13
Imran Tahir (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Proteas leg-spinner Imran Thair won't be dropped after he struggled on his Test debut against Australia at Newlands.

Two of South Africa's most experienced players, Graeme Smith and Dale Steyn, told the Rapport newspaper that Tahir's place in the team is safe after he failed to pick up a wicket in the first Test at Newlands.

Tahir struggled in the seamer-friendly conditions, bowling only 10 overs for 35 runs.

However, captain Smith has backed the Pakistan-born spinner, saying the conditions weren't suitable for his leg-spinners.

"Imran's first Test would have been good for his self-confidence and he will continue to grow into his new role.

"He has already learnt a lot from the couple of overs he bowled, but the overhead conditions and batting service offered very little assistance - while the seamers were able to cash in," said Smith.

And Steyn shares his captain's views. He feels Tahir could play more of a role in the the second Test, starting at the Wanderers on Thursday.

"He lacks nothing and he knows he will get his chance to win Tests for the team.

"In our last number of series we lacked a quality spinner that could dismiss our opponents' tail-end batsmen - and when the conditions are in his favour, Imran will do it," said Steyn.

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