South Africa fall back on Graeme Smith, appoint him as adviser

Graeme Smith had made strong criticisms of South Africa's batting and selections during the first Test.

By: AFP | Cape Town | Published: January 2, 2016 1:25 pm
Graeme Smith announced as an adviser for the South African team ahead of the second Test against England. (Sources: File) Graeme Smith captained South Africa in 108 Test matches before retiring two years ago. (Sources: File)

Former South African captain Graeme Smith linked up with the South African team as an adviser on Friday ahead of the second Test against England which starts at Newlands on Saturday.

“Graeme was a wonderful cricketer for South Africa and a wonderful captain,” said current captain Hashim Amla.

Smith will be with the team for the rest of the four-match series.

South Africa will make at least two changes following a crushing 241-run defeat in the first Test in Durban.

Amla announced that Kagiso Rabada will replace the injured Dale Steyn. He also dropped a strong hint that Quinton de Kock would come in as a wicketkeeper and batsman, with AB de Villiers relinquishing the gloves and playing as a specialist batsman.

“The final call will be made by the selectors,” said Amla.

“If Quinny does come in he will take a load off AB and he has also been in very good form with the bat. If he does play, the selectors will have to decide who they will leave out. It will be a tough decision, whether it is Faf (Du Plessis) or JP (Duminy) because these have been integral guys in our team for many years.”

Fast bowler Kyle Abbott will undergo a fitness test ahead of the match after feeling tightness in his left hamstring at the end of the first Test. If Abbott does not play, he will be replaced by either Chris Morris or Hardus Viljoen, who are both uncapped.

Viljoen, 26, was called up as cover for Abbott. He took 20 wickets in the first two matches of the current season’s first-class campaign for the Lions franchise.

Amla said he was not concerned that Smith, who captained South Africa in 108 Test matches before retiring two years ago, had made some strong criticisms of South Africa’s batting and selections in his capacity as a television commentator during the first Test.

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