With South African captain Graeme Smith having just undergone knee surgery, having injured his knee taking a catch to dismiss Kevin Peterson in the World Cup, there is now a strong suggestion that he miss the trip to Ireland at the end of June for a match against Ireland and three against India.
In a season that includes the 20/20 World Cup, being held in South Africa in September, as well as series against New Zealand, the West Indies, Pakistan and India, it would be seen as vital that Smith’s knee be allowed to fully recover before he is rushed into action. With Smith likely to be an important figure in South Africa’s 20/20 World Cup hopes, it may be advisable that he miss the short series in Ireland and instead have a much needed rest, and be 100% for the new season.
Should Smith miss out then Jacques Kallis will lead the team against India and Ireland. Kallis has previously led the team when Smith had missed a test match through injury. While South Africa may not have been happy with their world cup performance, it is unlikely that whole sale changes will be made to the team that, apart from the inconsistency shown during the world cup, have had a very successful last few years. The spin bowling option may be one that could see a change, with the likelihood of Johan Botha or Thandi Tshabala, or both, being included in the touring squad, giving the team more options and variety than it has previously had.
Smith will more than likely also not make the team representing Africa in the Afro Asia series in Bangladesh