Thami unlikely to play in first test
IT IS unlikely wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile will play in the first test against England at the Oval next week even though he was named to replace Mark Boucher yesterday.
Tsolekile, 31, was added to the touring party after Boucher suffered a career-ending eye injury in a match against Somerset last weekend.
Boucher announced his retirement after a bail lacerated his left eye.
He had surgery and returned to South Africa yesterday.
Even though Tsolekile will be the only specialist keeper in the squad, part-time keeper AB de Villiers is likely to wear the gloves against England at the Oval.
A Cricket SA official questioned the description of De Villiers as a "part-time" keeper and referred to him as simply a wicketkeeper.
It's an indication the team is positioning De Villiers to play as the test keeper, which will allow for another specialist batsman.
"The squad and members of the touring party are selected by a panel convened by Andrew Hudson," said the team manager, Mohammed Moosajee.
But when it comes to choosing the team for the tests, Hudson and coach Gary Kirsten will do that job.
When asked whether the need for a specialist keeper was paramount given the dangerous nature of the job in light of Boucher's misfortune, Moosajee was non-committal.
"You could argue that cricket is a dangerous game and anyone facing a bowler at 150km/h could sustain an injury," Moosajee said.
Tsolekile played two tests for the Proteas against India in November 2004 and one against England that December, when Boucher was dropped for the only time in his career.
Tsolekile didn't enjoy much success, taking only six catches and scoring just 47 runs in five innings.
But in first-class cricket Tsolekile has scored 4559 runs at an average of 29.03 and taken 433 catches and 33 stumpings.