SA 'A' to strike first blow
Johann de Jager
Bloemfontein – South Africa’s second stringers are gearing up to strike the first blow against England on their tour in their Twenty20 match on Tuesday.
The touring side have comfortably won their first two warm-up games.
There are a number of new faces in the South Africa 'A' side who will be keen to make their mark, Morné Morkel warned on Monday.
“A number of them will want to stake their claim for the senior team. England are a quality side and it’s a good opportunity to put up your hand,” he said.
The pace bowler, who took five wickets in the MTN40 series over the weekend, will be a threat to the English.
He admits it’s an important game for him, but he will not play with the sole focus to impress.
Morkel said that one of the big mistakes he made in the past was trying too hard to get back into the national side. That put unnecessary pressure on him. He will therefore not put any pressure on himself and focus only on the basics.
“I believe that what needs to happen will happen, and that things will change for me,” he said.
He also realises Proteas coach Mickey Arthur and his coaching team are busy with a few experiments as far as the one-day side is concerned.
His main goal is to be ready for the first Test that starts on December 16.
SA 'A' coach Corrie van Zyl said they hoped to point out a weakness or two in England’s armory to the Proteas on Tuesday.
The SA 'A' side also has Loots Bosman and Henry Davids in its ranks. They are the only two batsmen to have registered centuries in the local Pro20-series.
Juan Theron has been included in the XI in place of Yusuf Abdulla who sustained a groin injury in the Dolphins’ MTN40 game against the Eagles on Sunday.
Stuart Broad will not be available for England because of his injured right shoulder.
Graham Onions (back) had to complete a fitness test on Monday, while Graeme Swann said that the blood on his bowling finger in Sunday’s warm-up game in Kimberley wouldn't prevent him from playing.
Justin Ontong (captain), Loots Bosman, Rilee Rossouw, Henry Davids, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Heino Kuhn, Rory Kleinveldt, CJ de Villiers, Morné Morkel, Juan Theron, Thandi Tshabalala
Andrew Strauss, Luke Wright, Joe Denly, Jonathan Trott, Alastair Cook, Paul Collingwood (captain), Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, Adil Rashid, James Anderson, Sajid Mahmood, Graham Onions