- While the big selection issue ahead of the first Test between the Proteas and
India centred around whether or not Dale Steyn would play, the build-up to the
second Test has been characterised by discussions on who will replace
Steyn suffered tissue damage to
his left heel in Cape Town and has been ruled out of the remainder of the
Now, the Proteas brains trust
must settle on a replacement for the second Test at Centurion, which gets
underway on Saturday.
Captain Faf du Plessis has three
Ngidi and Chris
All three have their attractions,
but come 09:30 on Saturday, Du Plessis will announce one.
The Proteas will go into the
match with four fast bowlers and with Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Morne
Morkel all guaranteed a start, the fourth seamer is the one with the question
mark hovering over it.
Given the struggles that both
sides faced in the batting department in Cape Town, Morris emerges as an
intelligent pick in that regard.
He could significantly bulk up
the batting ranks, while Du Plessis would be happy with him operating as one of
"At this stage we view Morry
as a fourth seamer. He has a bit of work to do on his consistency before we can
think of him as a third seamer," Du Plessis said on Friday.
"But as a fourth seamer he
operates well. He runs in hard and has good pace, and he can bat which makes
him a good option in that allrounder role."
Choosing between Olivier and
Ngidi, though, is potentially even more difficult.
Olivier has already played in
five Test matches and technically should be next in the pecking order, but the
fit-again Ngidi is considered one of the brightest young fast bowling prospects
in the country.
Until Thursday, Du Plessis had
never seen Ngidi bowl in the flesh and after doing so the skipper was
"Lungi has been brought into
the squad and I wanted to get a closer look at what he can do," Du
"It was great to get to know
him and see what he’s got. There is a lot of talent there."
With Steyn (34), Morkel (33) and
Philander (32) all getting on in their careers, it is important to Du Plessis
that the Proteas build on their fast bowling stocks.
"Right now is really
important, but I’ve also got an eye on the future in terms of there being a lot
of Test cricket coming up," said Du Plessis.
"As I’ve said very often,
the success of our Test team is highly dependable on the fast bowlers that we
have in our armoury.
"Now we have to look at if
we want to keep the balance of four seamers and a spinner, do we look at an
all-rounder maybe? It is once again a tough selection, but a nice one