England in SA

New caps could work in our favour, says Maharaj

2019-12-24 12:13
Keshav Maharaj
Keshav Maharaj (Gallo Images)

Cape Town -  Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj believes that the new faces in the South African camp can work in their favour ahead of the first Test against England at Centurion.

The Proteas have selected six uncapped players for the first two Test matches against England at Centurion and Newlands.

Cape Cobras duo Dane Paterson and Pieter Malan, the Lions trio of Rassie van der Dussen, Beuran Hendricks and Dwaine Pretorius and Warriors wicketkeeper/batsman Rudi Second could make their Test debuts on Thursday.

One of the six are already guaranteed to make their debut after middle-order batsman Temba Bavuma was ruled out of the opening Test due to a side strain.

Aiden Markram's inclusion is also hanging in the balance after he scored 1 and 30 this past weekend as the Titans lost to the Lions in the 4-Day Domestic Series.

Maharaj believes that having uncapped players could work to South Africa's advantage on the field.

"It's nice to have that balance between new and old faces," said Maharaj on Monday at Centurion.

"It's good to have that cohesion that aids the game on the field. Sometimes people have come into the Test squad and have not been seen by the opposition before and it works in our favour.

"With the old experience guys, who know how to go around it's business, it's good that we can feed and learn at the same time."

Maharaj also revealed the great progress he has made with spinning consultant Paul Harris in the build-up to the series.

"He is helping me with a technical fault that I had since last Wednesday. We've trained quite long in terms of getting something right with my action," said Maharaj.

"It's been a learning curve for me as I've been finding out about my game." 

The Proteas take on England in the first Test at Centurion on Boxing Day with the first ball due to be delivered at 10:00.

Proteas Test squad for England:

Faf du Plessis (Titans, captain), Temba Bavuma (Lions), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Dean Elgar (Titans), Beuran Hendricks (Lions), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Pieter Malan (Cape Cobras), Aiden Markram (Titans), Zubayr Hamza (Cape Cobras), Anrich Nortje (Warriors), Dane Paterson (Cape Cobras), Andile Phehlukwayo (Dolphins), Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras), Dwaine Pretorius (Lions), Kagiso Rabada (Lions), Rudi Second (Warriors), Rassie van der Dussen (Lions) 

England Test tour of South Africa 2019/20:

December 26-30: 1st Test - SuperSport Park, Centurion 

January 3-7: 2nd Test - Newlands, Cape Town 

January 16-20: 3rd Test - St George's Park, Port Elizabeth 

January 24-28: 4th Test - Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg 

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

Read more on:    england  |  proteas  |  keshav maharaj  |  cricket


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