Proteas set to be at full strength for India finale

Published: Saturday, June 30, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

More images
Belfast:South Africa captain Jacques Kallis is confident of having his strongest side out for Sunday's one-day series climax against India here at Stormont.

The three-match campaign is all square at 1-1 after the second final over finish in as many games saw India come out on top by six wickets at the Belfast venue on Friday.

South Africa were, however, without fast bowler Dale Steyn - one of several players on both sides who have succumbed to flu - and all-rounder Justin Kemp, sidelined with a leg injury.

"Dale's come a long way, Justin Kemp has been having treatment and hopefully, by Sunday we'll have a full squad to choose from," said Kallis.

And the closely-contested nature of the two matches so far left the stand-in skipper eagerly anticipating the series finale

"It all bodes well for Sunday's game. I think it is going to be a terrific game of cricket."

Kallis has been delighted to see fringe players to the fore this series, preceded by a one-day international each for both sides against Ireland.

For example Morne van Wyk, opening in place of regular captain Graeme Smith, who is recovering from knee surgery, top scored Friday with a career-best 82 in South Africa's 226 for six.

The 28-year-old Free State cricketer, who until this event had been on the sidelines after making his debut against England at Lord's in 2003, was praised by Kallis.

"He's done well. Graeme's been the one in the spot but when you've got guys putting pressure on other guys there's no spot in any team that should be taken for granted."

Van Wyk, a former pupil of Bloemfontein's Grey College, the school attended by late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, said: "The cricket back home is quite competitive and, like Jacques said, I'm still fairly young.

"You don't know if it (international cricket) is going to come around but you keep on hoping with performances you can get a look in," added van Wyk, who four years ago had a brief spell with Belfast club Instonians.

Off-spinner Thandi Tshabalala and all-rounder Vernon Philander, both 22, have impressed since making their debuts last weekend.

Tshabalala captured the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar for 93 on Friday and, although his eight overs cost 42 runs, all-rounder Kallis said he'd been happy handing over the bulk of the fifth bowler duties to the spinner.

"We wanted to have a good look at Thandi. With the next World Cup being in the sub-continent (in 2011), we realise we have to find a spinner and that is what we are trying to do," pace bowler Kallis explained.

"It was between me and him to be the fifth bowler and he did well."

Although Tendulkar was named man-of-the-match for an innings which saw him become the first batsman to score 15,000 one-day international runs, the prize could easily have gone to India team-mate Yuvraj Singh.

Yuvraj took three for 36 in nine overs with his occasional left-arm spin. and, after a top-order collapse which saw four wickets lost for eight runs, including that of Tendulkar, the 25-year-old made an assured 49 not out, sharing an unbroken stand of 85 with Dinesh Karthik (32 not out).

"When we've done well over the last couple of years, the contribution of Yuvraj at the death has been vital," said India captain Rahul Dravid.

India hope to have seamer Ajit Agarkar available for Sunday's match but fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth is set to miss the entire series with flu.


Write Comments