Heavy rain and Hobart’s history might see spinner Keshav Maharaj sacrificed for an all-out pace attack.
Maharaj put in a good shift on debut in the first Test in Perth, taking key wickets in the first innings, before holding up an end with distinction in the second innings. The Waca was bathed in sunshine for that contest, however, which is in stark contrast to how the Hobart conditions will be.
A 60% chance of rain is expected on day one, with showers expected at some point on day two as well. The weather, combined with the fact that only 14 out of 168 wickets fell to spin in first-class competition in Hobart last summer, might see the surprise exclusion of Maharaj, ending the debate as to whether Morne Morkel or Kyle Abbott will get the nod, following Dale Steyn’s series-ending shoulder injury.
‘There’s a possibility of that,’ Du Plessis said when asked if the spinner will be left out.
‘If it becomes a really shortened game where it is going to be under covers and the ball’s going to be wet, it’s going to be cold and the pitch has more moisture … that’s something we will look at.
‘It looks like there’s going to be a little bit of rain tomorrow so, if it rains for the whole day, it becomes a four-day game.
‘They are in the same boat as us. You just want to make sure you pick the strongest team for the conditions,’ he said.
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