I understand your point and the example of Prince is valid, as big game temperament and the ability to score runs in 'hard' causes puts him above far more glamorous and statistically better batsman in South African cricket. But first class cricket is a different beast and whilst Parnell has excelled in limited overs cricket, does he currently have the patience or craft to toil away for days? I listened to a lot of Kent's first class games this season and whilst Parnell impressed with his pace and control, he didn't comeback well.
Ntini is 99 tests, so unless the selectors are extremely ruthless and ready to take exceptional levels of flak, he has to start the series. He really should have been retired after the Australian series away. Great way to go out and unfortunately for Ntini, pace was one of his greatest gifts, and with that gone he doesn't have much to fall back on.
So Albie's third seamer role will probably be the only slot open come the first test.