Faf du Plessis is at home with his new-born child, Dale Steyn is injured and AB de Villiers couldn’t be bothered to play for South Africa against England, meaning the Proteas are missing plenty experience for the first Test. So who should start at Lords?
It’s not ideal having those three unavailable, but at the same time, it allows us to get some new blood into the Proteas camp. I think the management have strengthened the squad by dropping Cook and Parnell – Cook’s lack of footwork and unorthodox technique would not work in English conditions, and Parnell is…. well….. Wayne Parnell.
With Cook out, there’s a spot at the top of the order up for grabs with Dean Elgar. Heino Kuhn and Aiden Markram are the two obvious options. Markram is probably the best long term investment at the age of 22, but with 33 year old Kuhn’s runs in the warm-up match, we reckon he’ll get the nod, and deservedly so.
Hashim Amla at three is a given, and sadly so is Duminy at four. We’re sure JP will play again, continuing his run of lucky selections.
At five, we’d love to see Theunis de Bruyn get another nod. Averaging 46 locally, he deserves a second Test match. Crucially, he bowls a bit of medium pace – taking two wickets in the warm-up match, which could be valuable in the Test.
Six, seven and eight will be Temba Bavuma, Quinny de Kock and fit-again Vernon Philander. I personally think that is a fairly decent top eight that could get us to 400-500 when batting.
Rabada will lead with ball and will be a very decent batsman coming in at nine. With ball in hand, he’s going to have to sort out the recent no-ball issue he’s been having of late. You don’t want to get someone like Root out early only for it to be a no-ball.
Ten and eleven should be Maharaj and Morkel. Leaving us with three front-line seamers, a spinner and two part-time bowlers in Duminy and De Bruyn.
What are your thoughts on this side? Should the selectors get Markram in at four for Duminy? Morris in for Bavuma – so an all-rounder instead of a batsman? Let us know @leftbacks