As South Africa prepares for the first Test against India in Pretoria on Tuesday, there’s a sense of optimism as coach Shukri Conrad reveals that fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi are likely to be available for selection. Both players have been grappling with injuries – Rabada with a heel issue and Ngidi with an ankle concern – but Conrad assures they are part of the squad and potentially ready for action.
Addressing reporters on Saturday, Conrad provided reassurance, stating, “They are both here with us and that means they are available for selection as things stand. We have not called anybody in as a replacement, and hopefully, come the morning of the match, we have 15 fit players to select from.”
Rising Star Gerald Coetzee Poised for Test Debut
Whether Rabada and Ngidi take the field or not, the spotlight is on 23-year-old fast bowler Gerald Coetzee, who showcased his prowess during the 50-over World Cup in India. Despite limited test experience, Coetzee’s impressive nine-wicket haul in previous tests against West Indies earlier this year suggests he could be a key player for South Africa.
Coach Conrad acknowledges Coetzee’s potential, stating, “He’s still a baby in test cricket… He brings aggression, he brings something that we’ve always prided ourselves on as South Africans, which is pace. He brings all of those elements, and hopefully, through the experience he builds, he can be leading our bowling attack in a couple of years’ time.”
South Africa’s Determination to Maintain Unbeaten Record
South Africa is determined to uphold its record of never having lost to India on home soil. Conrad emphasizes the significance of the series, saying, “If it was possible to make this even bigger, then the fact that India have never won here does that… We certainly want to hold on to that proud record and make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The coach highlights the pressure of a two-test series, comparing it to a “heavyweight boxing bout,” underscoring the high stakes involved in the upcoming cricketing showdown.
As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the clash between South Africa and India, the inclusion of Rabada and Ngidi and the potential debut of Coetzee add layers of anticipation and excitement to the much-anticipated Test series.