BRIGHT SPARK: Tabriaz Shamsi. Photo:RYAN WILKISKY/BACKPAGEPIX

Proteas coach Ottis Gibson is in a spin when it comes to selecting his team for Friday’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle (6.30am).

On the dusty pitches of Sri Lanka, spin bowlers are often favoured.

And while Keshav Maharaj has been South Africa’s premier spin bowler over the last two years, having made his debut in 2016, his position is under threat from Tabraiz Shamsi.

Gibson, who prefers to field a strong pace attack, might be forced to play both Maharaj and Shamsi in the first Test.

TOP SPINNER: Keshav Maharaj. Photo: SYDNEY MAHLANGU/BACKPAGEPIX

The latter, though, has already proven that he can be a force to be reckoned with in Sri Lanka after claiming five wickets against a Board XI on the weekend.

Having only played in one Test before this - against Australia also in 2016 - the 28-year-old Shamsi says: “I’ve played just the one Test and it was such a long time ago that it will definitely feel like my debut again if I’m chosen here.

“Just generally as well, normally we don’t play two spinners, but it’s according to the conditions. There’s no guarantee that I will play.

“But if I get an opportunity I will do my best. Whoever does play, I have full confidence they will do a great job.”

Of Maharaj, who has taken 74 wickets in the 20 Tests he’s played, Shamsi adds: “Keshav’s a great bowler as well. He’s done so well since he has come into the team.

TOP SPINNER: Keshav Maharaj. Photo: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

“If anything, it makes things easier for me, because he has got more experience than I do, so I am just looking to do what I can do.

“There’s no pressure. We have a great bowling attack, it doesn’t rely on one person.”

Gibson also has a third option available to him in 31-year-old uncapped Titans spinner Shaun von Berg.

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