Town - The Proteas are on the verge
of beating Australia in a Test series for the first time ever on South African
soil, but they still have one more hurdle to get over.
The fourth Test in Johannesburg
starts on Friday, and if South Africa can avoid defeat they will win the
With the Australian side in
disarray - Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been sent home -
the advantage surely lies with the hosts, who have begun to find some form with
bat and ball.
Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, AB de
Villiers, Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock have all made valuable runs at
different times in the series while, in the bowling department, there has been
Kagiso Rabada remains the most
dangerous threat while Morne Morkel looks to be in the form of his life as he
approaches retirement. Vernon Philander has been as accurate as ever and Keshav
Maharaj chipped in with a breakthrough spell in the third Test at
On the surface, this Proteas side
But, as is usually the case with
a Test at the Wanderers, there may be reason to mix things up.
The wicket in Johannesburg almost
always offers the seamers something to work with, and there is often the temptation
to go into the match without a specialist spinner.
That was the case earlier this year
when South Africa left out Maharaj and India dropped Ravichandran Ashwin.
Should they opt to go that way,
South Africa could bring Lungi Ngidi back into the side. But, if they want to
bulk up in the batting department, uncapped allrounder Wiaan Mulder becomes an option.
The 20-year-old has been in the
squad throughout the series, working closely with Gibson and the management
During day four at Newlands, he
took to the field during the tea break to bowl some balls on one of the
practice strips out in the middle.
Mulder is still incredibly green
on the international stage, but coach Ottis Gibson seems to have enough faith
in the youngster to back him in a series-deciding match.
"We’ve made a bowling change
in every game and in a three-man attack it’s nice to freshen at least one
bowler up," Gibson told media on Tuesday.
"We rested Morne in PE and
when he came back in Cape Town he was fresh and bowled brilliantly well. When
Lungi missed out in the first Test, he was fresh and also bowled well.
"We’ll see when we get to
"Wiaan Mulder is improving
all the time and he will definitely come into the reckoning in Joburg.
"It’s his home ground and we
could need another allrounder there and a fourth bowling option.
"There are quite a few
changes we could make, but we’ll look at the conditions when we get
The Proteas could also opt to
leave out a top order batsman for an all-rounder if they wanted to keep
The likeliest to miss out if they
went that route would be Temba Bavuma in a move that would see Quinton de Kock
moved up to No 6.