Graeme Smith has decided to play through the pain barrier once more as the Proteas announced an unchanged side for the Sydney Test starting tomorrow. He will however not be playing in the Twenty20 and One Day series.
Smith insisted on finishing the job he started and will be leading the Proteas in the third and final Test before retuning home for experimental blood transfusions in an effort to forego an operation and to be ready for the return series in February.
The Eastern Cape spinner Johan Botha will captain the side in the slog and pyjama version of the game. Ashwell Prince, a specialist Test batsmen, will replace Smith as the batting anchor.
Prince’s broken thumb, which kept him out of the series, has apparently healed, but it was decided that it won’t be wise to fiddle with a winning combination in which his replacement JP Duminy was one of the main stars.
A lot still depends on the result of the Sydney Test: victory for the South Africans will mean they move ahead of Australia into the top spot of the ICC ranking list.