Viljoen looks set for Test debut

2016-01-13 13:00
Hardus Viljoen (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Hardus Viljoen looks increasingly likely to make his Test debut for the Proteas against England in the third Test at the Wanderers on Thursday.

Speaking at his first media briefing as Test captain on Wednesday, AB de Villiers dropped a massive hint that the 26-year-old would be a part of South Africa’s bid to level the series over the next five days.

Viljoen has taken 20 first class wickets on the Wanderers strip this season in two matches, and while De Villiers said that the team would only be finalised on Wednesday afternoon, his first hint came when he suggested that the Proteas could go into the match without a specialist spinner.

“The nice thing for us, and I think England will also be happy with that, is that we both have part-time spinners in our teams who can do a job if we don’t go for the specialist spinner,” he said.

“But it’s still an option... we’ll see how we go. In the past obviously the seamers have done a little better but you can make use of your spinner to hold the game a little bit no matter how flat the wicket is or how much it suits seam bowling.”

De Villiers had said that there were still “one or two things” to contemplate before making a final decision on the team, and when asked by Sport24 if that included making a call on whether to go into the match with four specialist seamers, the skipper brought up Viljoen.

“I was specifically talking about a guy called Hardus Viljoen,” he said.

“He excites me quite a lot. He bowls at a very big pace and good control and he’s taken 10 wickets in a row... there’s a lot of talent there but the decision has still got to be made this afternoon, we haven’t finalised anything yet.”

Viljoen’s inclusion would likely see off-spinner Dane Piedt dropped, while Kyle Abbott would miss out.

Read more on:    proteas  |  hardus viljoen  |  johannesburg  |  cricket

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