• Gibson keeps door open for Maharaj return

    Coach Ottis Gibson has all but confirmed Keshav Maharaj will return to South Africa’s XI for the Test series against Sri Lanka later this year.

    Maharaj went without a wicket in the series opener against Pakistan at SuperSport Park in Centurion late last year – and was not selected for January’s Tests at Newlands in Cape Town and the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

    The hosts, instead, fielded an all-pace bowling attack lined with seamers Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier.

    ‘With regards to Keshav‚ he knows that he is still part of the plans, and he understands his role and the bigger picture,’ said Gibson.

    ‘While he did not play against Pakistan‚ he is still part of the series and his turn will come when we go to Durban and Port Elizabeth against Sri Lanka.

    ‘Those are places where spinners get into the game a little bit more, and I am sure that his name will come up.’

    Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock and Olivier were named Player of the Match and Player of the Series respectively, after the final Test against Pakistan. De Kock struck a superb century – and Olivier capped two dozen wickets across three matches.

    ‘In this game, Quinton made a brilliant ton. He is a fantastic player for us and if Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said he was the difference, then it means he was the difference from their point of view‚’ added Gibson.

    ‘From our point of view‚ Olivier got a lot of wickets, but our dressing room is not a one-man show.’

    Photo: Gallo

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