The Castle Lager Proteas begin their extensive preparation for the Sunfoil Test series against Australia with a three-day warm-up match against a strong composite XI at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Tuesday. Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced a line-up that includes some of the next best players in the country, and should give the Proteas good match practice ahead of the series.
"The nine days is purely about us being ready for the series," Graeme Smith said at an overcast Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Monday. "Three days would have left us a little bit under-cooked, specifically because we have had a lot of T20 cricket in the last month.”
The management will not necessarily field their probable Test XI, and will look to maximise opportunities for all players involved.
"We will probably mix between both teams and make it as competitive possible, and as similar as possible to what we are going to get over the next period of time," Smith said.
"Our goal over the next nine days is to make sure that when we hit day one at Centurion we are in a frame of mind, mentally, physically and skill-wise that, whatever we do, we can do it well."
Smith also stressed that there is no pressure on the player selected to fill the vacancy left by Jacques Kallis, and believes that there is enough talent to fill the gap left by the 166-Test veteran.
"There is an opportunity for a few players to put their hands up," Smith said. "Whether it’s a batter, an all-rounder or a bowler, those are the decisions that will be made as we get closer to that first Test.
"I hope that the players that are going to get this opportunity see it as that, " he continued. "It’s an opportunity for them to stake their claim, get their peg in the ground for hopefully a successful international career for them."