Sport

SHUKRI’S SHAKE-UP

Proteas ring changes for second Test cricket match against West Indies

Proteas ring changes for second Test cricket match against West Indies
Kagiso Rabada of South Africa during day three of the 1st Betway Test match between South Africa and West Indies at SuperSport Park on 2 March 2023 in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo: Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images)

Proteas coach Shukri Conrad has made four changes to the side that beat West Indies by 87 runs in the first Test.

Shukri Conrad has not been afraid of making bold decisions since taking the reigns as head coach of South Africa’s Test team. 

He has continued that approach in only his second match in charge.

First, by deviating from the norm and announcing the playing 11 a day early for the Proteas’ second Test match against West Indies. Second, by ringing four changes to his side and subsequently allowing every player in the squad a run in the two-match series. 

“I don’t set out to do things in a brave way. I’d like to think I am a guy who thinks things through carefully, but I’m always going to look to take the road less travelled, and that’s where I’d like this side to go,” Conrad told the media on Tuesday.

The four changes include Ryan Rickelton, Wiaan Mulder, Simon Harmer and Keshav Maharaj coming in for Keegan Petersen, Senuran Muthusamy, Marco Jansen and Anrich Nortje. 

Nortje was the only enforced change — ruled out due to a stiff groin. 

“We all know that Anna [Nortje] has been ruled out. Marco [Jansen] deserves a little bit of a break,” said Conrad. “That lanky body of his has been through the mill the last couple of months and we also need to look after what lies ahead for these guys in the next couple of months.”

Temba Bavuma of the Proteas during day two of the 1st Betway Test match between South Africa and West Indies at SuperSport Park on 1 March 2023 in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo: Lee Warren / Gallo Images)


Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations


Battle for number five

Rickelton is a straight swap for Petersen in the No. 5 batting position.

“This is not just changing the side for the sake of changing the side,” said Conrad.

“Everybody’s got a crack, but the one oke that probably deserves a crack more than anyone [Ryan Rickelton] hasn’t had one yet. It was a simple choice, that.”

But Conrad assured that Petersen is still part of his long-term planning in the batting department.

“We went with Keegan in the first Test because he was the incumbent. Him being left out is not on the back of two non-scoring performances,” said the coach.

“I still think [Petersen’s] best position might be [number] five going forward, in terms of the way he plays… I feel Keegan’s got a bigger role to play in the middle order rather than the top-order.

“Rickelton deserves his crack at it too. As everybody knows, he’s been churning out [the runs domestically],” added Conrad.

Consistent and big runs have been a rarity for the Proteas in the last couple of years. However, Conrad is confident that they will soon find the winning formula.

“This Test batting unit is still a work in progress. But hopefully by design and not stumbling onto something, we’re going to get the right mix.”

Kagiso Rabada of South Africa during day three of the 1st Betway Test match between South Africa and West Indies at SuperSport Park on 2 March 2023 in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo: Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images)

Spin twins

The Test match will take place at the Wanderers in Johannesburg, which is traditionally known as fast-bowling paradise. But Conrad has elected to only go with two fast bowling options in Kagiso Rabada and Gerald Coetzee – who made his debut in the previous Test – as well as Mulder’s medium pace.

Conrad has also opted for two frontline spinners in Harmer and Maharaj.

“History would suggest, in the last year, that the spinners do come into the game here,” he said.

“The game doesn’t have to end on day three. Test matches are meant to go to day five, and if it goes to days four and five, our spinners will come into it in a big way.

The first ball of the Test match between South Africa and West Indies will be bowled at 10am on Wednesday. DM

Proteas playing 11 (in batting order):

Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma (captain), Ryan Rickelton, Heinrich Klaasen, Wiaan Mulder, Simon Harmer, Keshav Maharaj, Gerald Coetzee, Kagiso Rabada

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.