SA in West Indies

Selection dilemma for Proteas

2010-06-07 22:35
Lonwabo Tsotsobe (Gallo Images)
Altus Momberg

Cape Town – The Proteas will have to choose between two of the outstanding performers of their recent one-day series – Ryan McLaren and Lonwabo Tsotsobe – to replace the injured Wayne Parnell in their side for the first Test against the West Indies that starts at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on Thursday.

While there is a chance that the Proteas may pick a second spinner on a pitch that traditionally assists spin, the South Africans are more likely to take their cue from their previous performances on this field.

Jacques Kallis was the bowling hero in 2001 when he knocked over the Windies in the fourth innings. In 2005 it was the Test in which Makhaya Ntini took 13/132.

The expectation is that the pitch, which hardly has any grass on it, will break up quickly and that its main characteristic will be uneven bounce.

In such conditions a tall bowler such as Morné Morkel will especially be a thorn in the Windies’ side.

McLaren probably has a slight edge on Tsotsobe in the sense that he has already played a Test – against England in January this year – for the Proteas.

He also has the ability to bat at No 8, which will strengthen the batting depth.

Tsotsobe showed a lot of improvement in the recent one-day series and really impressed with the manner in which he varied his deliveries.

He showed that he possessed a good slower delivery and bowled comfortably around the wicket.

He also demonstrated the ability to bowl quick off-cutters. It is certainly a delivery that can be of value on the slow, low wickets of the Windies and also on the sub-continent.

“Lonwabo’s skills has always been one of his major strengths as a bowler and he showed on two previous tours for the Emerging SA side what he can do,” said Proteas coach Corrie van Zyl.

“It’s encouraging to see that he has all the experience to vary his bowling at this level.”

Read more on:    ryan mclaren  |  lonwabo tsotsobe

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