Russell Domingo prefers to have a specialist spinner in his team, even if by his own admission the Wanderers is notorious for favouring fast bowlers.
With Dale Steyn out of the third Test against England, South Africa’s biggest selection headache will be whether to keep an unchanged team for the Wanderers or leave out spinner Dane Piedt and pick a fourth seamer.
‘I am one of those coaches who likes to have a spinner, but the Wanderers is notorious for not having a spinner,’ Domingo told the media at a press conference.
‘We need to look at the conditions. Once we’ve had a look at the pitch and discussed it with the selectors a little bit closer to the match, we’ll make a call on that, but it is not unheard of going into a Wanderers Test without a spinner. It has been done before.’
If they do decide to go the route of four seamers, the two candidates up for consideration to fill Piedt’s spot is the fit again Kyle Abbott and speedster Hardus Viljoen, who took 20 wickets in two consecutive Sunfoil Series matches at the Wanderers at the end of last year.
‘He’s got a good chance [of playing],’ said Domingo. ‘There’s some decisions to be made with the bowling attack. He is one of our options, he’s got a great record at the Wanderers, he’s been on form and there’s no substitute for pace; he’s got pace. Nobody enjoys facing pace so he is very much in the picture.’
JP Duminy, who was dropped for the Newlands Test to make way for Quinton de Kock, is another option to bring back into the side as he offers a bowling option. Duminy scored a career best 260 for the Cape Cobras over the weekend and remains a part of the squad.
‘It’s an outstanding performance to go back and get your career best score a couple of days after your’ve been left out of a Test match,’ Domingo said.
‘It speaks volumes about his character and speaks volumes about the type of cricketer he is. He is in the squad, whether he plays or not is a thing we need to discuss with the selectors because we obviously know JP can offer something with the ball.
‘All you can ask of your players is when they go back [to domestic cricket] they show why they are an international player and JP has done that and Dane Vilas has done that. They both got double hundreds and double hundreds, no matter who you score them against, is a great effort and a great achievement.’