Oz to push for series whitewash, Ponting targets Proteas skipper Kallis

March 19th, 2009 - 2:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Bryce McGain

Cape Town (South Africa), Mar.19 (ANI): Australia have made clear their intentions to push hard for a 3-0 sweep of their Test series against South Africa by suggesting that stand-in Proteas skipper Jacques Kallis has “enough on his plate”.
Kallis quit as vice-captain in 2007 after being left out of Proteas” squad for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
The 33-year-old is the only South African in Test cricket’’s 10,000-run club and has also taken 258 wickets at 30.88 in 130 matches, as well as being one of the game’’s finest slips fielders.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting strongly hinted that leg-spinner Bryce McGain could be handed his Test debut at Cape Town at the age of 36 with a view to the Ashes series that starts in Cardiff on July 8.
But the skipper is also keen to see how Kallis reacts to the pressure of having such an enormous amount of responsibility within the team.
Asked if tensions within the home team would work in Australia’’s favour, Ponting said: “You”d probably think so.
“One of them (Prince) not wanting to be captain and them having a reluctant captain (Kallis) at the moment,” Ponting said.
“I don”t think Kallis is the sort of guy that would be jumping up and down to do the captaincy knowing the sort of laid-back guy he is on the field and he has got enough on his plate anyway with being a top-four batter and an all-rounder, Fox Sports quoted Ponting, as saying.
“He’’s someone who bowls their 20 overs an innings for them, he has got a lot on his plate. I think we saw something similar when England came to Australia in 2006-07 Andrew Flintoff was captain, he added.
Prince missed South Africa’’s 2-1 triumph in Australia in December and January because of a thumb injury and his place in the middle-order has been taken by JP Duminy.
The Proteas have dropped Neil McKenzie and Smith is out injured with Prince recalled for the third Test to open alongside debutant Imraan Khan.
No.3 Hashim Amla and middle-order batsman AB De Villiers both indicated they weren”t keen to open.
Prince demanded as captain to have a say in his team’’s batting order and was furious when this request was rejected, telling Cricket South Africa to give the captaincy to someone else.
“You can understand the reason he was disgruntled in the first place I guess, being the vice-captain and being left out of the side,” Ponting said.
“But when opportunities come around like that (to be Test captain), I think any Australian would grab that with both hands.”
Ponting says he has been speaking with selector-on-duty Merv Hughes about the possible debut of McGain. (ANI)

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