SA v Pakistan
Prince cracks the nod
Ashwell Prince (Gallo Images)
Dubai - Ashwell Prince was chosen at number six in the Proteas batting lineup with the selectors yet to finalise the bowling attack against Pakistan.
That decision will be made on Friday when the visitors have had a chance to examine the pitch before the first of two Tests against Pakistan.
Prince confirmed on Wednesday that he will be playing in his 58th Test after Andrew Hudson and his fellow selectors opted to go for his experience ahead of JP Duminy, who the 33-year-old left-hander has been competing with for the past two years for a place in the middle order.
Prince regained his place in the team earlier this year after Duminy’s batting fortunes dipped rather badly.
However, Duminy has shown in the recent limited over series against Pakistan that he has mastered most of the technical glitches in his batting – among them a weakness for short deliveries – and that he is ready to resume his promising Test career.
Hudson and his fellow selectors still have to decide on the composition of the bowling attack – with the inclusion of a second spin bowler along with Paul Harris being a distinct possibility.
Harris, Prince, Alviro Petersen and Mark Boucher on Tuesday joined their team-mates who had just won the ODI series 3-2.
"With Johan (Botha) also in the group and Jacques Kallis in fine bowling form, we have the option of choosing two spinners," said Hudson.
"We did it in the West Indies and they complement each other well. Paul can slow the run-rate and put pressure on the batsmen while Johan is a more attacking spinner."
A big reason for the South Africans' recent Test success can be attributed to the fact that Harris and Kallis troubled their opponents' top order batsmen, after which Dale Steyn, Morné Morkel and (more recently) Lonwabo Tsotsobe delivered the knockout punches.
If the wicket benefits the spinners, Harris and Botha will be utilised, and one of Steyn, Morkel or Tsotsobe will carry the drinks.
"Everything depends on the wicket and what kind of game plan Corrie (Van Zyl, the Proteas coach) will have," said Hudson.
Probable Test teams:
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal, Wahab Riaz, Abdur Rehman, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal
Proteas: Graeme Smith (c), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher, Paul Harris, Morné Morkel, Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.