Proteas ponder Kallis replacement


South Africa captain Graeme Smith concedes his side may need to call upon a replacement if Jacques Kallis does not recover in time for the final Test against Australia in Perth this week. Kallis injured his hamstring while bowling on the first day of the drawn second Test at Adelaide Oval. Scans later revealed the all-rounder had strained his hamstring and could not bowl, although the veteran was able to bat through the pain to notch his 56th Test half-century in South Africa’s first innings.
The 37-year-old added 46 on the final day in the tourists’ second dig and combined for a stout 99-run stand with Faf du Plessis (110 not out) to drag South Africa to a memorable draw.
However, Kallis still remains a doubt for the third Test at the WACA according to Smith. “The nature of the way this tour’s gone for us, I think we may need a replacement with the build-up,” Smith said.
“We need to reassess how Jacques pulls up tomorrow and how he goes well over the next few days. “He’s definitely not going to bowl (in Perth), but if we can have him as a batter that would be ideal.
“He played two very important knocks (in Adelaide), and his experience and skill definitely shone through, and ideally we would love to have him fit for Perth.
“Hopefully that will be the case, if not we will deal with it the way we’ve dealt with the other curve balls that have been thrown at us in this series.” Beyond Kallis’ gutsy knock, Du Plessis was superb on Test debut to post a maiden century and claim man-of-the-match honours.
The rookie faced an astonishing 376 balls in his second innings to force a draw after Australia set the visitors a daunting 430 for victory. AB de Villiers (33), who recorded the longest innings in Test history in terms of deliveries faced without a boundary, was also impressive. The wicketkeeper formed a painstaking 68-over partnership with du Plessis to keep Australia’s bowling attack at bay. Smith said he was realistic about South Africa’s slim chances to snatch a draw on Monday and was ultimately blown away by his team-mates’ resistance. “There was that little bit of hope this morning but at four down last night, the writing was probably on the wall. I just wanted to see the guys show a little character,” Smith said.
“It was incredible to see the guys who represented us out there today with the skill, the determination and the pride in which they took in their performances, they represented us and a lot of people back home immensely and that was the most fulfilling thing for me. “It’s really a strengthening point for us considering we haven’t played very well and that we had another couple of big injuries in this Test match that created some hassles for us.
“We still managed to scrap after not being in great positions. We know we haven’t been at our best, but we still haven’t been beaten and that is a very rewarding feeling.” The powerful left-hander hopes the defiant display can prompt a ‘special’ performance in Perth. “We are level-pegging going into Perth and that is great,” Smith said.