Parnell likely to fill Abbot void

GOOD SHOW: Wayne Parnell is likely to open the attack against Sri Lanka at the Wanderers tomorrow. PICTURE: GALLO IMAGES

Wayne Parnell is likely to be given the opportunity to lead the attack with the new ball together with Vernon Philander as a likely replacement for Kyle Abbott in the Proteas third and final Test against Sri Lanka at Wanderers in Johannesburg tomorrow.

Parnell is competing with uncapped Duanne Olivier for a place in the starting XI but could be given a run following his strong performance for the Cobras at the weekend.

Parnell took six wickets and scored an unbeaten 103 opening the batting in the second innings in their victory over Highveld Lions in Oudtshoorn.

“I’ve had a few injury setbacks but ultimately it’s all about coming back stronger,” Parnell said.

“Whether I finish my career with four Test matches, or with 10 or with 20 or 30, that’s not really important to me. Doing well for whatever team I’m playing in is the ultimate goal, be it with the Cobras or the Proteas.”

Since 2009, Parnell has earned just four Test caps, but has appeared in 54 ODIs and 35 T20 internationals.

His progress in Test cricket has been delayed mainly due to injuries and has also faced competition from Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Abbott.

But with Abbott unavailable after his contract was terminated by Cricket South Africa, Parnell is likely to play ahead of Olivier.

“I think I’m probably halfway through my career now if all goes well. There are always going to be things that are out of your control.

“What is in your control is the performance that you put in and your work ethic and over the last 12 to 18 months that is something that I’ve really worked on. I’ve looked to just follow processes rather than focusingon the outcome.”

In his four Tests, he has taken seven wickets at an average of 36.85 and could add to that when play starts tomorrow.

Meanwhile, opener Stephen Cook said it is important for the Proteas to get a series whitewash against Sri Lanka after they failed to do so in Australia where they won the series 2-1 last year.

“We spoke about that in our team meeting. We have to realise the importance of being 2-0 up in the series and completing the job,” Cook said.

“We wanted to do that in Australia and failed. A whitewash is first and foremost on our mind.”

The Proteas have an unassailable 2-0 lead going into the final Test tomorrow