Three names already spring to mind … but who will be the one?
With Proteas batsman Aiden Markram sidelined due to injury there is a void in the top of the SA batting order. Independent Media’s Zaahier Adams profiles Markram’s possible replacements:
Zubayr Hamza. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
The stylish Cape Cobras right-hander is the official reserve batsman in the squad and should theoretically replace Markram. He showed on his Test debut that he does have the technique to succeed at the highest level with a stroke-filled 41 against Pakistan at the Wanderers last season.
He batted at No 5 at “The Bullring”, but usually comes in at first drop for the Cobras, so facing the new ball should not be altogether foreign for the 24-year-old. He could possibly have played earlier in the series already, but for a slight injury from which he has now recovered.
Theunis de Bruyn
Theunis de Bruyn
De Bruyn would have been under pressure to hold on to his place for this final Test after a string of poor scores in the first two. Equally, he would have been really disappointed with his performances so far, considering his last Test innings on the subcontinent prior to this tour was a superb century against Sri Lanka in Colombo last year.
However, De Bruyn has not taken his chances on this tour and could be pushed up the order just as a stop-gap measure until Markram returns for the home series against England.
SA’s Temba Bauma in action. Picture credit: Reuters
HS: 102 not out
It is not often that a struggling batsman gets promoted up the order, but Bavuma is so horribly out of form that something drastic needs to be done to shake up the vice-captain.
In his favour is the fact that Bavuma has done this job for the Proteas previously when he partnered Dean Elgar in the final Test of the last series in India in Delhi. He acquitted himself well at the time, facing a sum total of 245 balls and putting together scores of 22 and 34.