Proteas’ coach Gary Kirsten feels the upcoming Sunfoil series against New Zealand will set the tone for the Castle Lager Test team’s run in 2013. The New Year’s Test match will be the first of 10 scheduled for the year as the Proteas look to sustain their reign as the No.1 ranked team on the ICC rankings.
“We had a good meeting today around the year ahead,” Kirsten said. “We’re likely to have 10 Test matches in 2013, and what we do as a team is set our goals about what we want to achieve for the year. The New Zealand series will be an important stepping stone to that.
“The success of our team in 2012 was the fact that we remained humble in our play, we never took any situation or any team for granted. We made sure that our preparation was spot on and that, when we got into Test match time, we set up solid foundations to give ourselves the best chance of success. We will treat this series no differently.”
The squad held a long training session on their first day together, with the players looking energised and refreshed after a well earned break.
“England and Australia were very demanding series and with a busy three months coming up we felt that this would be the only window of opportunity where we could give our Test players a rest,” Kirsten continued. “Everyone one seems motivated and they are all looking forward to the series.”
Jacques Kallis has recovered well from the hamstring strain he suffered during the second Test match against Australia and the medical staff will continue to assess Vernon Philander’s hamstring on a daily basis.
Proteas’ team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee said: “Jacques (Kallis) hamstring strain has recovered successfully; he has also been bowling in the nets so we are satisfied with his progress. Vernon is still in his rehabilitation phase under the watchful eye of the physio, Brandon Jackson. A final call on his availability for the Test match will be made on Tuesday.”