SA make three changes for third Test

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2007, 11:47 AM IST

Cape Town, Jan 26: South Africa will make three changes in the enforced absence of Herschelle Gibbs when they face Pakistan in the deciding third Test starting on Friday.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) rejected on Thursday an appeal by Gibbs against a two-Test ban imposed on him for abusing Pakistani supporters in the first Test in Centurion.

Gibbs will now sit out the Cape Town Test as well as a Twenty20 game and the first one-dayer against Pakistan.

South African captain Graeme Smith said all rounder Shaun Pollock and fast bowler Andre Nel would be rested and replaced by all rounder Andrew Hall and fast bowler Dale Steyn.

The absence of Gibbs means a reprieve for out of form opener AB de Villiers, who will now bat at number six. Boeta Dippenaar has been recalled and will open the innings with Smith.

"Shaun`s already gone home (to Durban), and Andre is also going to miss out," Smith told a news conference.

Smith hoped the younger batsmen would shape up in the absence of Gibbs.

"There are a lot of young guys in our top six, and losing Herschelle means losing 84 Test matches worth of experience.

"It`s disappointing, but we`ve got to put our heads down and go. Some of the other guys need to take some responsibility."

Pakistan will also be forced to make changes after injured fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul had to return home.

Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq said: "There will be at least two changes and maybe a change in the top order," he told reporters.

"Shahid Nazir is bowling better in the nets, and Naved-ul-Hasan is also doing well," he added, referring to the fast bowlers.

South Africa won the first Test by seven wickets before Pakistan levelled the series by winning the second Test in Port Elizabeth by five wickets.

Squads:

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Paul Adams, Hashim Amla, Mark Boucher, Boeta Dippenaar, AB de Villiers, Andrew Hall, Jacques Kallis, Paul Harris, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Ashwell Prince, Dale Steyn.

Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (captain), Younis Khan, Asim Kamal, Danish Kaneria, Faisal Iqbal, Imran Farhat, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Yousuf, Naved-ul-Hasan, Shahid Nazir, Umar Gul, Yasir Hameed, Zulqarnain Haider.

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