Cape Town - South
Africa opted to go with debutant spinner Keshav Maharaj for the first
Test against Australia in Perth because paceman Morne Morkel is not
So says batsman Temba Bavuma, who scored 51 on day one as the Proteas
were bowled out for 242. They then missed Morkel's swing as the Aussies
reached 105 without loss at stumps.
When asked why Morkel had not been picked for the pacey deck, Bavuma
said: "Keshav has done quite well domestically and with Morne Morkel
coming back from injury, he is not 100% fit.
"Also considering the wicket might break down, it would be good to have a spinner."
He then added of the current state of the deck: "When I was batting, I didn't see any substantial breaking down of the wicket.
"The wicket still looks true. The ball is starting to skid on, which is a good sign.
"What's happened has happened. We can't do anything to change it. It's
quite obvious they have the upper hand but there will be an opportunity
to knuckle down in the second innings."
Skipper Faf du Plessis confirmed that Morkel was not at full strength: "Morne has been bowling well.
"He's actually coming off an injury, so he's probably about 90-95%
ready. Bowling long spells for him is still a little bit of a concern.
"We just want to give him a couple of days to make sure that back
gets fully fit. But I think a spinner in these conditions will be