Landmark Test for Proteas


South Africa will reach a notable landmark in its young history in international cricket when Graeme Smith leads the Proteas in Perth for their 200th Test match since the country’s readmission after decades of isolation due to apartheid. “This is a signal moment for CSA and particularly for the 79 cricketers who have carried the Proteas emblem into the Test match arena,” said CSA Acting CEO Jacques Faul.
“It is particularly fitting that it should happen in a match where there is so much at stake and where there is such eager anticipation around the cricketing world with the No.1 Test match ranking at stake between ourselves and Australia,” he added.
“It seems only yesterday that Kepler Wessels led the Proteas into a Test match for the first time in the West Indies – a match in which Andrew Hudson, our current convener of selectors, scored a Test century on debut. “There have been so many highlights since then and everybody will have their own particular favourite. Suffice to say that the Proteas brand is hugely respected around the cricketing world. Smith, who made 151 and shared a first-wicket partnership record of 368 with Herschelle Gibbs in the Proteas’ 100th Test match against Pakistan at Sahara Park Newlands in 2003, will be leading the Proteas for the 96th time.
The other Test match captains have been: Hansie Cronje (53 matches), Shaun Pollock (26), Kepler Wessels (16), Mark Boucher (4), Jacques Kallis (2), Ashwell Prince (2), Gary Kirsten (1).
Smith hopeful over Kallis fitness: South Africa captain Graeme Smith is optimistic Jacques Kallis will be passed fit for the third Test against Australia in Perth – but has confirmed the all-rounder will not be able to bowl.
Kallis broke down with a hamstring injury early in his first spell during the Adelaide Test, but Smith revealed the 37-year-old is desperate to play at least some role in the series decider. “Kallis is no chance to bowl,” he said. “But hopefully when we wake up tomorrow morning, he’ll be ready to go. That would be nice. “Jacques is immense and he’s batting really well at the moment, he’s shown that in this series. “His experience and his record speaks for itself and to have him at number four for us definitely gives us a lot of batting strength and the solid nature of what he brings to our top six is crucial for us.
“We will do everything possible to get him fit and mentally he’s hungry to play, he’s shown that in the way he’s gone about his rehab. “He wants to get on the park and perform and that’s great for us.” Paceman Vernon Philander is expected to return after recovering from the back problem that ruled him out of the Adelaide Test. While acknowledging that his bowling attack hasn’t been at it best in the series to date, Smith backed them to come good at the WACA.