Let this be a lesson to selection of overseas touring parties: ALWAYS pick backups for each area of your team. This means: batsman (middle order), keeper, pace bowler and spin bowler. Obviously this depends on the depth to choose from; for instance if the spinner you're talking about couldn't turn the ball to save their life don't bother. I know that David Boon used to take the gloves on occasions but with the tendency for keepers now to be more than half-decent batsmen too, I think there's even more reason to include Wade or Manou. When a pace bowler breaks down obviously there needs to be someone to take their place; same goes for a batsman. It begs the question; what were the selectors going to do if Katich or Clarke broke down. With the latter this was certainly going to be a risk. What if it occurred two days before the start of a test (which it has)? Contingency plans are indicative of good preparation. No doubt if North had not eaten some rancid wild boar there would be nothing to say on the issue. But because Aus danced with the culinary devil the great debutant is lying in a hospital bed and the first 11 is missing a number six.
It must also be acknowledged that day one of the third test highlighted how close South Africa and Australia are. If one team is not quite on the ball this is exploited ferociously by their opposition. I would ask, however, if Macdonald is picked as an allrounder then why would he bat at seven while Haddin is put up to six. That being said your top order is picked to do a job (ie take the shine off the new ball and make runs!) and your number eight should be getting bonus runs: not required runs. Whereas it appears RSA has made good changes; at least with their opening batsmen so far, Aus has looked short with the bat and no options that could have prevented such an event .
RSA came out with more purpose and fire than in the previous two tests and the Aus batsmen were not up to the task (save Katich, Haddin and Johnson). This was to be expected as pride is on the line for RSA. Hughes will hopefully have learnt another lesson about intent and respecting the bowling, the selectors will hopefully have learnt a lesson about picking a touring party for England. And Hussey will ideally have learnt a lesson about one's place in the team before the first test of the Ashes when he is dropped.