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Pollock may play in first Test vs Pak

Shaun Pollock's chances of playing in the first Test are bright as Morne Morkel sprains his left foot during practice.

cricket Updated: Sep 29, 2007 19:31 IST

Shaun Pollock's chances of playing in the first Test against Pakistan brightened as Morne Morkel sprained his left foot during practice and is doubtful for the match beginning on Monday.

South African coach Mickey Arthur said Morkel may miss the game.

"Morkel sprained his landing foot during practice and he is a bit of worry for us. He will have to go through a fitness Test on Sunday. So Polly (Pollock) is in the run now to play the match," Arthur said.

Pollock, the most experienced Test player for his country with 416 wickets, was not first choice of captain Greame Smith and Arthur, who wanted to go in with a new bowling line-up as part of the rotation policy and rebuilding process.

"Polly is still an integral part of the team and will remain with the team. It is just a rebuilding process that we have to start sooner or later. Next year we play India in India, England and Australia and we need to have our bowling attack in place by then. So we felt this is the right time to start," he added.

It was first time that 107 Test-old Pollock was told he was not selected for reasons other than injury.

Arthur said Polly had handled the decision maturely, "I spoke to him and he was disappointed but okay."

"Now as the situation stands, Pollock might still play because of Morkel's niggle and he might not be fit for the Test," said Arthur.

Turning his attention to left-arm spinner, Paul Harris who took three wickets in South Africa's only warm up game, ending in a draw on Saturday, Arthur said he would add a new dimension to the bowling attack.

"He had a good run in this match and the positive we got out of this game was that the players got used to the heat and acclimatised well to the conditions."

Arthur said his team was prepared to handle Pakistani spinner Danish Kaneria although he was a bowler in the top bracket.

"We know what to expect and I am confident that our batsmen are technically equipped and have a game plan to see us through even on a turning track," he stated.

First Published: Sep 29, 2007 19:18 IST