South Africa to target big-scoring Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke

South Africa are targetting prolific Australian skipper Michael Clarke as they aim to break a five-decade winless drought in the Adelaide Test and seize the initiative in the three-match series.

The top-ranked Proteas were forced to bat out for a draw in the first Brisbane Test after Australia racked up an imposing first innings score of 565 for five declared, Clarke leading the way with an unbeaten 259.

South African skipper Graeme Smith expects his vaunted bowling line-up to fire at the Adelaide Oval in the match starting on Thursday, where South Africa have not won in 48 years.

"I just don't think we backed up well enough in Brisbane," he said. "We had periods when we were good, then we lost our way a little bit.

"We didn't really bowl well in partnerships to create enough pressure on Australia's batting. Hopefully that will happen in Adelaide."

Pacemen Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel had the hosts rocking at 40-3 before Clarke, Ed Cowan (136) and Michael Hussey (100) launched their rescue act.

Morkel plans more short-pitched stuff, particularly at Clarke.

"Definitely that is a plan to always use a short ball -- you have got two short balls an over so why not use it?" Morkel said.

"We just need to use it in a clever way and see how we go from there.

"Clarke played very, very well. If we can create more pressure and try and stop him from rotating strike that will be key."

Clarke was named the man-of-the-match in Brisbane after his third double-century of a year in which he is the highest scorer in Tests with 1,041 runs at an average of 115.66.

South African all-rounder Faf du Plessis is expected to make his debut in place of JP Duminy, out for six months with a ruptured Achilles tendon, and leg-spinner Imran Tahir is likely to replace paceman Rory Kleinveldt, ineffective and wicketless on his debut.

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