Proteas ready to face West Indies in second test

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The South African national cricket team shows four changes to the side to face the West Indies in the second test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Wednseday.

Ryan Rickelton, Wiaan Mulder, and spin twins, Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer come into the test 11 in a move coach Shukri Conrad says is aimed at giving every player in the squad a run-out. The Proteas have a one-nil lead in the two-match series against the Windies.

Although the Proteas got the win in the first test against the West Indies, they will be the first to say they are still finding their way. Aiden Markram and the bowling unit carried the side to victory against a good Windies outfit.

Captain Temba Bavuma got a pair in the first test, but Coach Shukri Conrad believes that is no reason to panic and honing in on the captain would be unfair.

“There’s no deep conversation, batters get pairs, they’ve got to move on they have got to deal with it doesn’t make him special or otherwise and I don’t think no i can tell you now there has been no special conversation around that you have got to get up and deal with it and find a way,” says Conrad.

For Conrad, the team to face the West Indies in the second test is a chance to see everyone in the squad, given that the test side will wind down until India at the end of the year, and only then will business pick up again.

And that means Conrad has to make some considered decisions, and that is how he has settled on the team for the second test.

“Thankfully Aiden got runs or else it would not have been brave it would have been daft and Klaasen’s selection people might be jumping up and down and saying that’s daft because the guy he replaced was one of the leading lights. I don’t think I go out to do certain things in a brave way I’d like to think I am a guy who thinks things through carefully but I am always going to look to maybe shall we say take the road less travelled,” explains Conrad.

Conrad hopes that will make all the difference, and also that two spinners at the Wanderers pans out, and that his quick’s are not burnt out before spin comes into play.

“History would suggest in the last year that the spinners do come into the game here and again the game does not have to end on day three. Test matches is meant to do today five and if it goes to days four and five I do think our spinners will come into it in a big way,” says Conrad.

Conrad also says that the batting in the team will take time, but he is confident they are not far off. For South Africa the challenge is how to use their test matches wisely, and how to ensure they are match fit, without many matches on the horizon.