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'Prepared to make big calls' - Boucher open to playing multiple spinners in Karachi Test
South Africa News

'Prepared to make big calls' - Boucher open to playing multiple spinners in Karachi Test

South Africa head coach Mark Boucher has admitted the team management has been forced to rethink their plans for the first Test against Pakistan due to commence on Tuesday.

The rhetoric in the South Africa camp heading into the series opener was dominated by a focus on reverse swing but Boucher has conceded they will have to change their strategy considering the slower wickets.

South Africa's last tour to Pakistan occurred in 2007 during the month of October when humidity is generally high in the subcontinent nation. According to Boucher, the cooler weather in Karachi this time around will assist spinners more instead of giving pacers the option of utilising reverse swing.

"The conditions aren’t as we thought they would be. Before we arrived we believed reverse swing would be a major factor, but now we are not sure how much of a weapon that will be," he said in an interaction with the media on Monday.

"We have only been able to go to the ground in the last few days because of security measures and there is a luscious outfield, not the abrasive kind we have seen before which aids reverse swing."

South Africa's 21-man Test squad is inundated with several seam bowling options and just three specialist spinners in the line-up.

Boucher confirmed the Proteas would be willing to backtrack on their initial plan of one slow bowler in the playing XI and look at fielding multiple spinners. His observation was based on the hosts' squad composition given Pakistan's inclination towards spin.

"We will definitely play more than one spinner and we have different options in the squad. We have the mindset that we are not scared to go out and try something different," he claimed.

"If you want to go and win a series away from home you have to be prepared to make big calls.

"Looking at the squad selected, they [Pakistan] are going in with a spin mindset and we have to believe we can do it too in these conditions."

Boucher held the opinion that Keshav Maharaj was a certainty to play and touted Tabraiz Shamsi as an attacking wicket-taking weapon. George Linde is the other spinner in the squad and has made only one solitary Test appearance thus far.

"The wickets here are generally good for up to three days, then the game tends to speed up towards the end," Boucher stated.

"On flat wickets, you want pace through the air and we have that. Then you need to balance it with who will do a containing role."

Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are expected to spearhead South Africa's pace battery, which might mean the Proteas could drop Lungi Ngidi to allow for more than one spinner in the side.