Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada is likely to be fit for the first Test against England starting at Lord’s on Wednesday, with coach Mark Boucher confident his attack can take 20 wickets no matter how aggressive the hosts bat.

Rabada is recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of South Africa’s last three T20 matches, but Boucher indicated his availability on Monday.

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“KG is feeling good, he’s a great athlete, he’s recovered well and he’s not in too much pain,” Boucher said.

“He’s having a fitness test this afternoon and he’s a big player for us so hopefully he’ll be able to do it.

“It was sad to see Duane Olivier leave the tour with a hip injury – very unlucky for him – but the lads are pretty much in position in terms of our attack and I don’t think we’ll change much from that.

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“We’re in a good place in terms of our bowling and I think they can take 20 wickets like we’ve done recently against other teams. We have to be adaptive because we don’t know what the conditions will be.

“There has been a lot of hype in the media about how aggressively England will bat and we will try to disprove that today. You need certain conditions to be able to play like that.”

Wrestling in the warm-up

The Proteas looked woefully ill-equipped in their warm-up match against the England Lions as they were bowled out by an innings and 56 runs in Canterbury. The hosts made 672 runs in just 117 overs, but it was largely a secondary attack for the South Africans, with only Keshav Maharaj playing in the first Test.

Perhaps more of a concern was the batting, with the Proteas slumping to 129/5 in the first innings before being bowled out for just 183 in the second.

“We’ve learned how to bring the ball!”, Bushe wisely said. “But that’s what it was — a warm-up — and we got certain things out of it.

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“It’s never nice to lose, but we’re focused on what we need to do to be ready for the challenge,” he added.

“We also lost to the England Lions in a white-ball match earlier in the tour and those series came out in order. The pitch at Canterbury was quite flat and it was tough on the players.

“But we were able to stay on our feet for a while, so we achieved something. We had guys coming out of the offseason and they were all a little rusty, so we’re not too upset about the result.

“There is no panic. It will be about dealing with the situation given to you and having the wits to do so. Hopefully if we’re on top we can bring it home or find a way to switch the momentum if they’re on top.”

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