Proteas eye de Bruyn for Boxing Day Test
South Africa captain Dean Elgar says “all options are on the table” as the visitors decide whether to make changes for the second Test against Australia starting on Boxing Day in Melbourne.
Elgar said on Tuesday that in-form batter Theunis de Bruyn was in contention for a recall after the Proteas were beaten by six wickets at the Gabba.
Despite having one of the world’s best fast-bowling attacks, South Africa need to find a batting unit that can post scores that are defendable.
In their last six completed Test innings the Proteas have failed to reach 200.
Wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne made a polished 64 at the Gabba.Temba Bavuma (38 and 29) was gritty and fellow middle-order batter Khaya Zondo (36no) showed promise, but it was slim pickings.
No.3 batter Rassie van der Dussen had a difficult Test and was bowled for a duck by Mitchell Starc in the second innings while leaving a giant gap between bat and pad.
De Bruyn only averages 19.45 in his 12 Tests but made an impressive 88 in the warm-up game against a Cricket Australia XI, and 101 for Lions in South Africa in his previous game.
The 30-year-old right-hander is highly regarded by Elgar and if changes are made to the batting order the skipper suggested he was first in line.
“De Bruyn is obviously the next batter in,” Elgar said.
“He has been in a great space. Because I am his teammate back home, I know he has got a lot of confidence. He scored runs back home and in the warm-up game as well which is great.
“I know he is a guy who you can bring in potentially who is going to give us that extra boost.”
Spinner Keshav Maharaj only bowled two overs at the Gabba as the match was over inside two days, but he is expected to get a lot more work at the MCG. Elgar has voiced his own preference for playing five specialist bowlers.
“The option of the seven batters and four bowlers was very much a talking point but I like having a specialist spinner,” Elgar said.
“(Maharaj) gives us a lot of control and allows our seamers to get an extra break.
“All options are on the table going into the next one. You have to be open minded because you have to make the right decision for the specific game.”
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