Ntini sets sights on Test milestone

LOSING the recent one-day international series to England must have hurt the Proteas.

But what has hurt them even more is losing their No 1 ranking in the Test arena as well.

From the highs of a year ago when they beat Australia in their own backyard, the South Africans find themselves going into a Test series tomorrow at Centurion Park as the underdogs. And what better way to regain that coveted rating than to stamp their authority on the series with a convincing win.

For coach Mickey Arthur and captain Graeme Smith it has been an unsettled build-up.

Jacques Kallis still appears troubled by a rib injury he picked up three weeks ago and a decision on his participation will be left to the last moment.

For the English their run-up to the opening Test has also been problematic. Wherever they have gone recently the rain has followed them. Captain Andrew Strauss will be looking to batsman Kevin Pietersen to lead from the front.

For Makhaya Ntini the match will be a special one. He reaches the milestone of 100 Tests tomorrow after 13 years of playing for SA.