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SAfrica mull all-out pace attack in Hobart

AAP logoAAP 11/11/2016 Rob Forsaith

Australia aren't the only side looking to the skies for inspiration in Hobart, where South African spinner Keshav Maharaj could be a shock omission for the second Test.

Maharaj impressed on Test debut in Perth, dismissing Australian skipper Steve Smith for a duck and snaring three other wickets to help the Proteas take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

But the WACA was bathed in sunshine for the duration of that contest.

In sharp contrast, rain is expected to limit how much play is possible on days one and two of the contest at Bellerive.

South African skipper Faf du Plessis admits that could mean Maharaj faces the axe, paving the way for Morne Morkel and Kyle Abbott to return following spearhead Dale Steyn's series-ending shoulder injury.

"There's a possibility of that," du Plessis said.

"If it becomes a really shortened game where it is going to be under covers and the ball's going to be wet, it's going to be cold and the pitch has more moisture ... that's something we will look at.

"It looks like there's going to be a little bit of rain tomorrow so, if it rains for the whole day, it becomes a four-day game."

It isn't unusual for South Africa's skipper to wait until the toss to reveal an XI, as opposed to Steve Smith who generally names his side at the pre-match media conference.

Du Plessis cautioned against reading too much into the fact Australia's selectors delayed naming an XI.

"They are in the same boat as us. You just want to make sure you pick the strongest team for the conditions," he said.

But he did welcome the prospect of Mitch Marsh being dropped.

"Allrounders are fantastic to have in your team ... if they change that, then that's good," du Plessis said.

Regardless of which four bowlers feature in the visitors' attack, it will be the first time South Africa's Test XI does not feature Steyn or AB de Villiers since 2004.

"The game goes on," du Plessis said.

"It's great to see guys can step in."

Du Plessis didn't take any delight in the criticism being levelled at counterpart Smith or Australia, noting "they'll be hurting from the previous Test match and they'll want to turn that around".

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