DURBAN// Watch out England. After coming so close to winning last week's first Test, South Africa look set to unleash the world's No 1 bowler to help them get over the line in Durban. Dale Steyn seems certain to return to the side for today's second Test after missing the thriller in Centurion because of a hamstring injury.
And Proteas coach Mickey Arthur has confirmed that Friedel de Wet, who came so close to leading the hosts to victory at SuperSport Park, will be the man to miss out. "Dale's come on nicely," said Arthur. "We'll still wait and see on that department. He bowled 10 overs at virtually full pace on Wednesday and there's been no comeback so I'm pretty sure he'll be fit to take his place." With Jacques Kallis, who hit a hundred at Centurion, recovering well from a rib injury and able to bowl, South Africa now have the ideal balance.
"As a fifth bowler we will not be looking for too many overs from him so we'll be conservative with him as we do not want to risk further injury down the line," said Arthur. "But he is looking OK so hopefully we can get at least 12 overs from him in a day. "We've been very consistent in our selection. If Dale's fit it could just be a straight swap for Friedel. Makhaya [Ntini] can do a good holding job for us.
"We back Makhaya hugely and we go back to the successes we've had with Steyn, Ntini, Morkel, Harris and Kallis. I can't see us differing too much from that." "The old fashioned way of playing Test cricket is six batsmen, a wicket-keeper and four bowlers but we're lucky to have a man of Jacques Kallis' ability to bat four and bowl. "There's not many teams who can have that luxury." De Wet, who has an uncanny resemblance to Steyn, took four for 55 as South Africa fell just one wicket short at Centurion but Arthur has told the fast bowler not to be too downhearted.
"Friedel was fantastic and that puts him in the queue," he said. "He's shown what he can do and we're all very impressed with that. "He puts a lot of pressure on the other bowlers. We'll go back to our tried and tested for what promises to be a really good Test match. "We've been very clear and the players know it. That's important and it helps in their preparation and their roles." However, Arthur is concerned with the conditions at Kingsmead, which have been grey and overcast over the past few days, giving England swing bowler James Anderson ample opportunity to exploit the conditions.
"When Anderson fires, England get into a really good position," said the Proteas coach. "This is the one ground where he will get assistance in terms of swing. "He's the danger man in their attack and someone we really need to look out for." South Africa's record in Durban certainly leaves a little to be desired. The Proteas have won just 13 of their 36 Test matches here. Not surprisingly, considering the subtropical conditions, 13 matches have also been draws.
More indifferent weather is expected over the next few days but Arthur is confident that it will be another exciting Test. "We're expecting big crowds down here but Test cricket is alive and well," added Arthur. "Certainly one day or Twenty20 cricket cannot replicate the feeling of that buzz on the final day at Centurion. "Before a ball is bowled in a Test match cannot be replicated." South Africa, with Steyn back, are confident that victory can be achieved this time - providing the weather stays fair.
firstname.lastname@example.org South Africa v England, 12.30pm start, Showsports 3