Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Proteas line-up could be given a shake for second Test, says Conrad

"I think the only way we're going to get something out of the (next) Test match is to bat really well."

A couple of changes can be expected in the Proteas line-up, according to national Test coach Shukri Conrad, as they search for ways to put up more of a fight against New Zealand in the second match next week.

After winning the first game by 281 runs earlier this week, the hosts will be looking to secure their first ever Test series victory over South Africa.

And Conrad admits the tourists are going to have to be better in the second match in Hamilton, particularly with the bat.

“I don’t want to lose anything in our batting. I think that’s the only way we’re going to get something out of the Test match. We have to bat really well,” Conrad said.

“We’ve got to have as many batters as we can and try take the game as deep as we can, and maybe force New Zealand into making a rash decision.”

While their chances of pulling off a surprise victory and drawing the series would rest largely on an improved performance by their batters, however, their solid bowling line-up also needed to be more consistent and take their opportunities.

Thinking caps on

Any advantage they could find would be welcome, Conrad said, and some new faces could be introduced as the underdog Proteas aimed to retain their unbeaten record against the Black Caps.

“I’ve got to put my thinking cap on, together with the other (assistant) coaches, and try look at other ways where we can possibly challenge them,” Conrad said.

“So I’m expecting maybe one or two changes, to see how else we can get something out of the next Test.”

Regardless of the result, Conrad said the second Test of the two-match series would offer another chance for players to make a bid for a more permanent place in the national squad, with senior players currently on SA20 duty set to return to the national squad for the rest of the international season.

“It is almost a sink or swim situation,” Conrad said, “but when you’re thrown in at the deep end there always lies an opportunity for a player to put up his hand to make a play, put his name out there and be considered going forward.”

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits