SOUTH Africa is set to unleash leg-spinner Imran Tahir on the spin-friendly Adelaide Oval in the second Test against Australia, starting today.
The tourists have opted to go with the more conventional attack after their four pacemen claimed just five wickets while conceding a massive 565 runs to the hosts in the drawn first Test in Brisbane.
The Pakistani-born Tahir, who has taken 26 wickets at 40.19 in 10 Tests, regains his place in the XI at the expense of medium pacer Rory Kleinveldt, and joins Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.
"Naturally he'll be anxious to do well," South African skipper Graeme Smith said yesterday.
"He has contributed in key ways for us over the last few Test matches and his role is important.
"He understands that not every surface that we have played on has offered him the world but he been able to contribute.
"Hopefully there is a lot of rough, not for me but for the Aussie left-handers. Imran has used rough well in the time that he has played for us.
"He created a lot of stress for Andrew Strauss and the left-handers in England and his wrong'un is also a good option."
Replacing the injured JP Duminy, batsman Faf du Plessis, who also bowls leg-breaks, also comes into the side that will be determined to live up to its No.1 ranking after a disappointing showing at the Gabba.
If we had travelled a few years ago and drawn a Test match anywhere else in the world people would have been raving about it," Smith said.
"The disappointment in the draw is good for us. It shows that people expect us to play well and that's exciting for us."