Should South Africa include Heinrich Klaasen for Ranchi Test: The visitors might look to hand a Test debut to the swashbuckling batsman.
Going into the third and the final Test in Ranchi, South Africa wouldn’t have expected it to be a dead-rubber post losing the first two Tests. While the South African bowlers have failed to take 20 Indian wickets, their batsmen have found life difficult in the Indian conditions.
While the inexperience of their batting unit had given a lot to ponder to the team management, what has further added to their woes is opening batsman Heinrich Klaasen getting ruled out of the Ranchi Test.
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Should South Africa include Heinrich Klaasen for Ranchi Test vs India?
Zubayr Hamza and Heinrich Klaasen are among the two reserve batsmen. While one out of them will be included as Markram’s replacement, there is a possible chance for both of them getting a go if the Proteas decide to bench one out of Theunis de Bruyn or Temba Bavuma.
No specialist opening batsman might mean that South Africa will look up to Bavuma to open the innings alongide Dean Elgar. The only other time when Bavuma had opened for South Africa in Tests was during South Africa’s tour of India in 2015.
In such a situation, de Bruyn might be the one to sit out. Having registered scores of 4, 10, 30 and 8 in two Tests, the 27-year old batsman can be accommodated to include both Hamza and Klaasen.
While Hamza has played a Test for South Africa, Klaasen has featured in 14 Tests and nine T20Is. A First-class average and strike rate of 44.40 and 63.38 respectively, Klaasen’s aggressive instincts might just be what South Africa needs at the moment to dismantle the Indian attack.
28-year old Klaasen might not have scored heaps of runs during South Africa A’s tour of India or during the warm-up match before the series but if he gets going with his big shots in Ranchi, the opposition will have a lot to ponder about.