Spinner Botha summoned to Australia - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Spinner Botha summoned to Australia

By Telford Vice 29/12/2005 06:28:24 AM Comments (0)

South Africa have summoned Johan Botha to Australia to add depth to their spin attack.

"I'm not sure whether I'm going to be considered for the third Test, or whether I'm just going for the one-dayers," off-spinner Botha, who was scheduled to leave on Wednesday afternoon, told Reuters from Port Elizabeth.

"But it is interesting that I'm going to Australia at this stage."

Left-arm spinner Nicky Boje is the only specialist slow bowler in the South African squad in Australia.

The third Test will be played at the spin-friendly Sydney Cricket Ground and Australia are likely to select both Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill for the match.

Like many of his compatriots, Botha rued the slew of spilled chances that the South Africans have endured.

"South Africa have been doing well so far, but they've let themselves down by dropping a few catches," Botha said.

"The series could have been very different if they had held some of those."

The 23-year-old Botha made his debut for South Africa when Graeme Smith's team played four one-day internationals in India in November.

He expected a tough introduction to test cricket.

"It will be quite a challenge to walk into the series cold if I play in Sydney," Botha said.

"I'm sure the Australians will have a real go at some young guy just arriving in the middle of what is obviously an intensely contested series.

"But I'm not daunted, this is the kind of thing you dream about as a youngster.

"I'm so excited, it's difficult to believe it right now.

"I've had some good Christmases, and this is right up there with the best of them."

Botha was a medium pacer who occasionally dabbled in spin until a back injury last season ended his career as a seamer.

He took to off-spin full time and did well enough in domestic competitions to earn selection for India after Boje withdrew from the tour over fears that he might be detained in connection with a police investigation into match-fixing.

Botha played in all four matches, conceding 123 runs from 25 overs for a respectable economy rate of 4.92 runs to the over.

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