South Africa have made significant changes to their playing XI for the second Test match of the home series against West Indies. The Test match is part of the 2021-23 ICC World Test Championship cycle, but neither team is in contention for a spot in the final at the Oval in early June.
The second and final Test of the series is set to take place at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, and the changes made by the Proteas team management are quite notable.
The hosts have brought in Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer as spinners for the Johannesburg Test. This change replaces the single-spinner approach in the first Test at Centurion’s SuperSport Park, where Senuran Muthusamy played but failed to take any wickets. Anrich Nortje, the right-arm pacer, has been asked to rest as a precautionary measure due to a groin injury, so he will not be a part of the bowling group.
Additionally, Ryan Rickelton and Wiaan Mulder have been added to the starting XI, while Keegan Petersen has been left out. Petersen scored only 14 and 7 in the first Test match, and the South African team management may have felt that he was not performing up to expectations. Heinrich Klaasen, who kept wickets in the first Test, will likely retain his place and continue as the wicketkeeper at The Wanderers.
On Monday (March 6), South Africa announced their squads for the upcoming ODI and T20I series against West Indies. Aiden Markram was named the new T20I captain and he will take over the charge from Temba Bavuma, who has been dropped from the 20-overs side.
South Africa’s starting XI for second Test:
Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Temba Bavuma (c), Ryan Rickelton, Heinrich Klaasen, Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Simon Harmer, Kagiso Rabada, Gerald Coetzee.