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Last Updated: Monday, 2 August, 2004, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Rudolph could open for SA
J Rudolph
Rudolph has scored all his Test centuries at number three
Jacques Rudolph could open for South Africa for the first time in his Test career as coach Eric Simons considers his options for the first Test.

South Africa take on Sri Lanka on Wednesday in Galle for the first of two Tests and with Herschelle Gibbs injured Andrew Puttick has joined the squad.

Bu the youngster failed in the only warm-up match and captain Greme Smith said: "Cricket is a funny game.

"Maybe he'll score a century if he's chosen, but we have other options."

Martin van Jaarsveld and Boeta Dippenaar are other options to open the innings with Smith if Puttick is left out.

But Rudolph, with success for South Africa coming at number three, has opened with distinction for provincial side Northerns.

South Africa were not at their best in the drawn warm-up match against the Board President's XI.

Smith said: "I'm satisfied with the bowlers, even though they didn't have a good wicket haul.

"Each bowler looked good in at least one session and we've got numerous plans for the Test series."

Sri Lankan captain Marvan Atapattu wants to see his team's Sunday night Asia Cup triumph over India carried into their play against South Africa.

"This was an important win for us and comes at the right time as we move into the Test series," he said.

"It was an intense series and this lifted our game psychologically."

South Africa are likely to play three all-rounders in Jacques Kallis, Lance Klusener and Shaun Pollock, but may play just one specialist spinner in Nicky Boje.

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