England in SA

Malan to debut at Newlands, question marks remain over Bavuma

2019-12-30 10:33
Pieter Malan (Gallo)
Pieter Malan (Gallo)

Centurion - Pieter Malan will make his Test debut when the Proteas take on England in the second Test at Newlands later this week. 

That much was confirmed by head coach Mark Boucher after his side beat the visitors by 107 runs inside four days in the first Test at Centurion on Sunday. 

The 30-year-old Cape Cobras right-hander will come in as a replacement for Aiden Markram, who has been ruled out of the series with a fractured finger. 

Keegan Petersen was brought into the squad as extra batting cover, but he will not play. 

Boucher said that he would prefer going in with a specialist opener as opposed to moving a middle-order batsman up the order, and that means that Temba Bavuma, who was named Test vice-captain for the tour of India in September, is likely to find himself on the sidelines. 

Bavuma was injured for the first Test, opening the door for Rassie van der Dussen to card a valuable 51 on debut in the South African second innings. 

He was expected to be fit for Newlands, the venue of his one and only Test century back in 2016 which also came against England, but Boucher's words on Sunday suggested that Bavuma would have to stay patient in his efforts to get back into the Test XI. 

"I'm not too sure where Temba stands with his injury. I know that he still felt a bit of pain in his side yesterday," Boucher said.

"We'll have to wait and see.

"If I'm honest with you, if I look at our middle order at the moment, it would be very tough to leave a guy like Rassie out who played a very important knock in this Test match.

"I understand that Temba has also been under a bit of pressure in the media for not scoring as many runs as he would have liked to so I don't want to throw him to the wolves.

"Temba is a very good player and we will continue to work with him in a very specific way to try and get him to be the best player he can be. If an opportunity arises to give him a shot again then great, and the question won't be asked."

Read more on:    proteas  |  pieter malan  |  centurion  |  cricket


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