Wednesday 9 January 2008 

South Africa Consider Four Seamers For Durban

South Africa are considering fielding an all-seam attack in the third test against West Indies, captain Graeme Smith said on Wednesday.

The series, tied at 1-1, will be decided in the match, which starts in Durban on Thursday.

"The thought of playing another seamer is on our minds," Smith told a news conference.

"These days we always want to play a spinner, but spinners haven't had much success here over the years."

Left-arm spinner Paul Harris will miss his first test of the season if he is not selected.

Harris could be replaced by medium pacer Shaun Pollock, who has not played in any of South Africa's six tests this season.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn is battling a hamstring strain he sustained in the second test in Cape Town, which South Africa won by seven wickets on Saturday to square the series. If Steyn is not fit, fast bowler Monde Zondeki will win his sixth cap.

West Indies captain Chris Gayle, who broke a thumb while batting in the second test, ruled himself out of the match on Monday.

However, coach John Dyson suggested that Gayle might play.

BOUNCE BACK

"It's up to Chris, but medical advice is for him not to think about playing," Dyson told a news conference on Wednesday. "We haven't talked about him playing or not playing."

Windies spearhead Fidel Edwards is also trying to bounce back from a hamstring injury.

Smith said he had been impressed by the performance of the West Indians, who won their first test in South Africa in the opening match of the series in Port Elizabeth.

"They've shown a lot of discipline and a lot of patience, and their fast bowlers have bowled well and in the right areas," Smith said.

"Some of their batsmen have shown real patience, and we had to work hard in Cape Town even though we won it in four days."

South Africa could be vulnerable at the top of the order, where Herschelle Gibbs will come in for Neil McKenzie.

Gibbs's poor form led to him being replaced by McKenzie for the second test.

"Herschelle has never been the most technically correct player, he's relied on his eyes," Smith said.

"He needs to go back to what has successful to him, he can't be a Jacques Kallis.

"He needs to back his ability and be confident in himself."

Squads:

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Andre Nel, Paul Harris, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini, Monde Zondeki.

West Indies: Chris Gayle (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Patrick Browne, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Pedro Collins, Fidel Edwards, Daren Ganga, Rawl Lewis, Runako Morton, Brenton Parchment, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Devon Smith, Jerome Taylor.

© Reuters 2008


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