It was interesting listening to Shaun Pollock in the booth the other day talk about SA bowling composition.
He said they usually played 3 seamers, a spinner and Kallis. In the first innings Kallis was relied upon to be the 4th bowler and in the 2nd innings the spinner was relied upon to be the 4th bowler.
Obviously in both innings the seam bowlers were relied upon to provide a front line role.
This would be why Boje played so much cricket. With that type of balance the spinner needs to be able to add more than just occasional 1st innings support and a main role in the 2nd innings as they are being carried half of the time.
Panesar has an ordinary record (av approx 40) in the first innings and a decent record in the second innings (av mid 20s). In the first innings of games he is seldom called upon to perform a major role unless the seamers are struggling. He isnt plan A.
Now the question is, can the selection of a spin bowler that cant bat and is mainly only effective in half the innings be justified ahead of a seam bowler that could contribute in both?
(regarding a decent spinner, not a great, and outside spin favourable environments)