• Tahir to get the chop?

    Kyle Abbott or Wayne Parnell could replace spinner Imran Tahir for South Africa’s crunch game against India on Sunday.

    ESPNCricinfo reports that coach Russell Domingo is considering picking an all-out pace attack at the MCG, which looks to be a very good batting wicket.

    Should Tahir be dropped, it means both JP Duminy and Farhaan Behardien’s role as part-time bowlers¬†will be crucial.

    ‘The balance of the side is something we talk about quite a lot, depending on conditions and the make-up of the opposition.

    ‘Against some sides we could play four frontline bowlers and two part-timers. The MCG seems to be a really good wicket for batting so we will assess our options,’ said Domingo at the Proteas’ first¬†training session on Thursday.

    Good news for South African supporters is that Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander both trained after battling sickness and fitness respectively. Both should be ready to face India.

    South Africa lost the ODI they played at the MCG on their recent tour to Australia, but Philander was left out for that game. He will be making his debut at the MCG on Sunday, and Domingo believes he could play an important role in bowling India out.

    ‘There seemed to be a little bit of bounce here last time. Vernon thrives on wickets that offer a little bit so hopefully there will be something in the wicket for him,’ Domingo said.

    ‘He is a hell of a good bowler when there is a something in the wicket for him – one of the guys that is most effective in world cricket when the wicket does offer something – so I’m hoping he can play a big role for us on Sunday.’

    Although the match against India is seen by many as a crucial result with regards to which teams end top in Pool B, Domingo downplayed its importance.

    ‘We know there is always a lot of hype when India is in town. We are not seeing it as a high profile game. We are treating it in the same way as all the other games.’