South Africa turn to spin for Australia Test

Imran Tahir

Skipper Graeme Smith has backed leg-spinner Imran Tahir to trouble Australia's left-handers as South Africa seek to establish control of the three-match series in tomorrow's Adelaide Test.

The Proteas have made two changes for the second Test, bringing in Tahir and debutant Faf Du Plessis, following a draw in the first Test in Brisbane.

Tahir takes over from paceman Rory Kleinveldt, who was wicketless and ineffective on his Test debut in Brisbane, while Du Plessis comes in for the injured JP Duminy.

Adelaide traditionally takes spin late in the match and Smith is banking on wrist-spinner Tahir to make a valuable contribution with his wrong'un turning away from the left-handers.

Australia's team is stacked with five left-handers among its top seven batsmen and the Proteas are banking on Tahir to make an impact after being left out of the series opener on an unresponsive Gabba wicket.

Pakistan-born Tahir, 33, has captured 26 wickets in 10 Tests since his debut against Australia in Cape Town last year and Smith is confident he will do his bit in Adelaide.

"Hopefully there's a lot of rough (bowlers' foot marks), not for me, but for the Australian left-handers and he's

certainly used the rough well in the times he's played for us," Smith said.

"He created a lot of stress for Andrew Strauss and the left-handers in England so the wrong'un turning away from the bat is not a bad option. He's got enough to really contribute in this game."

Smith added that Tahir must have faith in himself to stick at it over the five days of a Test match.

"Naturally, he'll be anxious to always do well, that's Imran's personality, but he's contributed in key ways for us over the last few Test matches and his role is important," he said.

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