Pollock’s place not assured

Veteran bowler Shaun Pollock has been included in a 12-man squad named for the first Test against New Zealand at the Wanderers from Thursday, but it is by no means a foregone conclusion that he will play.

Although he travelled to Pakistan for both the Test and one-day internationals, Pollock did not play in either of the Test matches.

South Africa won the series one-nil.

The selectors are expected to stick with the winning team, although the weather and the condition of the pitch at the Wanderers could play an important role in whether or not Pollock plays.

”If we have a nice green wicket, then there’s a very good chance he’ll play,” said convenor of selectors Joubert Strydom. Strydom emphasised that Pollock was an important part of the South African national set-up, regardless of whether or not he played.

”He’s a senior player, and he is a very astute adviser. He relishes the task of helping the younger bowlers, and if he carries the drinks onto the field, you can be sure he will be taking some tactics along at the same time,” said Strydom.

The team has been named for the first Test only, but Strydom said there was nothing sinister in this. ”I watched Neil McKenzie and Boeta Dippenaar playing for South Africa A in Potchefstroom yesterday,” he said. ”They are pushing hard for place, and players like Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince and Herschelle Gibbs are all under pressure. No-one in the team can afford to relax for a minute,” he said.

McKenzie and Dippenaar shared a partnership of 224 on Thursday, and McKenzie went on to record 182 — his highest first class score.

Strydom said the team for the second Test, starting at Supersport Park in Pretoria on November 15, would probably be announced after the first Test. – Sapa

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