Proteas in England

Turning pitch for Lord's Test

2012-08-09 10:05
Graeme Swann (File)
Cape Town - The Proteas could face a turning pitch in the final clash of their three-Test series against England at Lord's next week.

Beeld has reason to believe that the groundsman at this historic ground has been informed to prepare a turning wicket for the final Test.

South Africa currently lead the series 1-0, and a draw or a victory in the final Test will see them usurp England as the world's best Test team.

England spinner Graeme Swann - who was a last minute omission from last week's drawn Test at Headingley - will be back in the fray. He was dropped for the last game when the hosts went for an all pace attack - a plan which didn't quite work out as planned. In the end part-time off-spinner Kevin Pietersen had to bowl some overs and impressed by taking four wickets. So he and Swann could play a pivotal part if the pitch turns out to be favourable for the slow bowlers.

However, South Africa's Imran Tahir would also thrive in such conditions, and the decision could easily backfire on England.

The controversial Pietersen may even miss out on the Lord's Test if the England selectors decide to give him the boot. Earlier this week he caused a shock at the end of the second Test by saying he would announce whether he was standing down after the third and final match against the tourists later this month.

"I can't rule out that my next Test may be my last," he said after winning the Man of the Match award at Headingley after a superb innings of 149.

Pietersen's future was also a major issue before the series against the Proteas began.

He has already announced his retirement from one-day international cricket, amid speculation he wanted to be available for a full Indian Premier League programme while still playing for England and play in the upcoming World Twenty20 in September.

The clash at Lord's starts next Thursday.

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