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South Africa to Hand Pieter Malan Test Debut Despite Transformation Challenges

Pieter Malan is set to make his Test debut for South Africa in the second Test against England.

Cricketnext Staff |December 30, 2019, 8:28 PM IST
South Africa to Hand Pieter Malan Test Debut Despite Transformation Challenges

Pieter Malan is set to make his Test debut for South Africa in the second Test against England. He will replace Aiden Markram, who has been ruled out of the series with a finger fracture.

"Pieter Malan was selected in the squad. For us to go messing around with the opening position wouldn't be clever," South Africa coach Mark Boucher said.

"Pieter Malan has done a lot of good work over a long period of time. It's his home ground. At the moment, we are swinging towards having a straight swap for the opening batsman."

However, integrating Malan into the playing XI will not be easy due to South Africa's failure to meet their transformation target during the first Test as they fielded only four players of colour.

Meeting the targets has been complicated by injuries to batsman Temba Bavuma and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, with the latter ruled out of the series.

Bavuma missed Centurion because of a hip injury and the discussion about bringing him back into the side may be deferred until after the second Test, starting in Cape Town on Friday, because Boucher said the player was still feeling pain.

“If I look at our middle order now it would be very tough for us to leave Rassie (van der Dussen) out. He played a very important knock in this Test match,” said Boucher, who added that the coaching staff would “continue to work with Temba in a very specific way to try to get Temba to be the best player he can be.”

South Africa broke down stubborn England resistance to win the first Test of their World Test Championship series by 107 runs on Sunday.

England needed 376 to win but despite some committed batting were bowled out for 268 on the fourth day of the five-day encounter.

The second Test will be held at Newlands, Cape Town from January 3 onwards.

(With agency inputs)

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1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7748 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 South Africa 5193 110
5 Australia 5854 110
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1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10645 260
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