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South Africa may drop spinners
February 26, 2003 18:30 IST
South African captain Shaun Pollock Wednesday dropped a strong hint that the host nation would axe both their spin bowlers for crucial games coming up in the World Cup.
Neither of South Africa's left-arm spinners, Nicky Boje and Robin Peterson, has impressed in South Africa's first four matches with only one wicket between them - Boje took one for 44 against Kenya, and neither has bowled a full 10-over spell.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Andrew Hall had a promising outing when he played against Bangladesh in Bloemfontein Saturday.
Speaking ahead Thursday's match against Canada at Buffalo Park, Pollock said: "It has been discussed that maybe we could go in without a spinner."
He said opening batsman Graeme Smith could "be an ace up our sleeve" if a spin option was required with Smith having enjoyed success at provincial level as a part-time off-spin bowler.
"If we do go in without our specialist spinners he gives us some variety," said Pollock.
Coach Eric Simons added to speculation that Hall would become a first-choice player when he said he expected pitches to become more seam-friendly in the later stages of the tournament as winter nears.
Struggling fast bowler Allan Donald remains a key player for South Africa and is expected to play against Canada in the hope that he will find his form ahead of the make-or-break final group match against Sri Lanka in Durban Monday.
Simons admitted the match against Kenya was the last chance for South Africa to juggle combinations before every game became a must-win encounter. But he said the intention
was to win well against Canada.
He added that Sri Lanka's shock defeat against Kenya was a wake-up call for favoured teams.
"I think a lot of the so-called more powerful sides have become a bit arrogant in terms of the way they have been worrying about run rates and not worrying about winning.
"We'll go into the game to make sure we get four points, although we want to keep our run rate good."
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