Cape Town - Former South African captain Graeme Smith linked up with the South
African team as an adviser on Friday ahead of the second Test against
England which starts at Newlands on Saturday.
"Graeme was a
wonderful cricketer for South Africa and a wonderful captain," said
current captain Hashim Amla. Smith will be with the team for the rest of
the four-match series.
South Africa will make at least two changes following a crushing 241-run defeat in the first Test in Durban.
announced that Kagiso Rabada will replace the injured Dale Steyn. He
also dropped a strong hint that Quinton de Kock would come in as a
wicketkeeper and batsman, with AB de Villiers relinquishing the gloves
and playing as a specialist batsman.
"The final call will be made by the selectors," said Amla.
Quinny does come in he will take a load off AB and he has also been in
very good form with the bat. If he does play, the selectors will have to
decide who they will leave out. It will be a tough decision, whether it
is Faf (Du Plessis) or JP (Duminy) because these have been integral
guys in our team for many years."
Fast bowler Kyle Abbott will
undergo a fitness test ahead of the match after feeling tightness in his
left hamstring at the end of the first Test. If Abbott does not play,
he will be replaced by either Chris Morris or Hardus Viljoen, who are
Viljoen, 26, was called up as cover for Abbott. He
took 20 wickets in the first two matches of the current season's
first-class campaign for the Lions franchise.
Amla said he was not
concerned that Smith, who captained South Africa in 108 Test matches
before retiring two years ago, had made some strong criticisms of South
Africa's batting and selections in his capacity as a television
commentator during the first Test.
South Africa have not won a Test since last year's New Year fixture against the West Indies at the same venue.
you win or lose a cricket game you are either going to be praised or
there is criticism," said Amla. "That's just the nature of international
sport. When people criticise the team there's going to be some value in
it. You take it on the chin and move on. Wherever there is value that
can be added you've got to take it."
Amla said Smith's experience
would be important for South Africa's batsmen, who have managed just
three totals of more than 200 in their most recent ten completed
"Graeme can give guidance to the batters, which he
already has today," said Amla. "It is a confidence type of thing. You've
got to almost refresh what the processes are that made you successful.
knows more than most how tough it is to play cricket and how it is to
go through tough times. Early in his career there were a few crushing
defeats and he is well aware of how difficult it is and how important it
is for a team to reassess and get back. He's got good know-how about
Test cricket and we've got a lot of youngsters who can draw on that."