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Milestones in sight for Lara, Kirsten
Telford Vice | December 24, 2003 19:07 IST
Brian Lara and Gary Kirsten will have individual milestones in mind when the second Test between South Africa and West Indies starts on Friday.
Lara will become the sixth West Indian to play 100 Tests, while Kirsten, already South Africa's most capped player, will play his 96th Test.
Kirsten has said he aims to play at least 100 Tests and score 20 centuries. He has 19 Test hundreds to his name.
Stalwart batsman Kirsten is likely to return to the team after missing the first Test in Johannesburg, which South Africa won by 189 runs, to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
"I feel sorry for the guys leaving the side, but you can't leave a guy like Gary out," South Africa wicketkeeper and vice-captain Mark Boucher told Reuters.
"It's difficult to change a side after a win like we had at the Wanderers, but someone's got to make way for a great player like Gary.
"I spoke to him the other night, and he's dead keen to get back. I know he wants to play a hundred Tests for his country and score 20 centuries."
Left-arm wrist spinner Paul Adams was the other player recalled to the South Africa squad, in place of left-arm finger spinner Robin Peterson.
But two days of rain in Durban this week could affect the XI the home side selects for the match.
"With the conditions as they are I'm not sure if Kingsmead needs a spinner," Boucher said. "But that's up to the selectors and the captain, and no-one has seen the wicket yet."
Durban traditionally favours seam and swing bowlers early in a match before offering batsmen a sound platform on which to perform.
Boucher said South Africa were satisfied with their performance in Johannesburg and did not need to make a lot of changes to their approach.
The exception in the first Test was the last session on the third day when the West Indies scored 124 runs and Lara took a world record 28 runs off a single over from Peterson on his way to a score of 202.
Boucher said, "As we all saw Lara is the type of guy who can kill you in one session.
"We're very aware of that, and we don't want to let a session like that slip away from us because they have dangerous players."
West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle strained a hamstring while fielding on the first day of the Johannesburg Test, and team manager Ricky Skerritt told Reuters his chances of playing in the second Test were "very doubtful".
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Paul Adams, Mark Boucher, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis, Gary Kirsten, Neil McKenzie, Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel, Shaun Pollock, Jacques Rudolph, Martin van Jaarsveld.
West Indies: Brian Lara (captain), Carlton Baugh, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Corey Collymore, Mervyn Dillon, Vasbert Drakes, Fidel Edwards, Daren Ganga, Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Ridley Jacobs, Dave Mohammed, Ravi Rampaul, Adam Sanford, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Smith.