South Africa gives Kallis every chance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

South Africa gives Kallis every chance

By Greg Buckle 16/12/2005 05:53:35 AM Comments (0)

South Africa will wait until the last moment before play to decide if it will select injured all-rounder Jacques Kallis in the first Test against Australia.

The world's No.1-ranked batsman has been battling an elbow injury and has been unable to bat in training sessions in the WACA nets this week.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting says the home side is expecting Kallis to play, but the 30-year-old will be a major risk if selected.

Kallis, who averages an outstanding 57.07 with the bat, hasn't picked up a bat in almost a fortnight as he battles a torn left elbow tendon.

Fifth-ranked South Africa lost to Western Australia by an innings in a three-day game last week at the WACA, beat a Chairman's XI in a one-day match and drew with a modest WA second XI in another three-day contest at James Oval.

The tourists at least have a ready-made replacement on hand, with Jacques Rudolph showing impressive form on tour, including an unbeaten double century against Western Australia A.

Rudolph could slot in at No.4 if Kallis is ruled out.

South Africa captain Graeme Smith says his team is ready to go and he has warned his players to expect abuse from the home crowds in the three-Test series.

"And if it (abuse) doesn't arrive, we'll probably be a little bit disappointed," Smith said.

Smith said he was amused by the fuss his comments about Australia's new-look middle-order batting being suspect had caused.

He added he was trying to stay out of the sledging debate, saying he was trying to get under the skins of the Australian players simply by outplaying them in a series he says will contain some "heated moments".

The tourists will also try to take heavy toll of Australia's champion leg-spinner Shane Warne, to prevent him from tying up one end with long, economical spells.

"I think we are going to look to score before defend, in any option. Hopefully we can be positive going into the Test match in all aspects," Smith said.

"It's a big Test match and big Test series. I know a lot of people are going to be getting up early in South Africa to watch us and we'll be taking that support with us on the field."

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