Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala are likely to miss the bus for the World Cup© AFP
South African fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala’s availability for the upcoming ODI World Cup in India will be determined this week following a fitness test. The duo was named in South Africa’s initial 15-member squad for the World Cup, but played only one game each in the just-concluded five-match ODI series against Australia. While Nortje has sustained a lower-back injury, Magala is nursing a left-knee problem. South Africa is set to leave for India on September 23 and final call on the duo’s availability will be taken before the journey.
But going by early indication, both quicks are likely to miss the bus.
“We are continually taking stock as to where both of those players are,” South Africa’s white-ball coach Rob Walter was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’ after the 3-2 series win over Australia.
“The fact that they weren’t playing today with a week to go before we board the plane for the World Cup is obviously a cause for concern. We would have wanted them out there. There are complications around taking players that are injured into a World Cup because then you have to provide a medical reason to be swapped out.” In case both Nortje and Magala are ruled out, South Africa is likely to call up Andile Phehlukwayo in the World Cup-bound squad.
“Andile is one of a couple of guys who are part of a broader squad and today he showed us, especially with the bat, what we have seen in terms of his capability,” Walter said.
“That knock, you can look at it, and say it was match influencing. A total of 270 looks different to a total of 315 and he was a massive role-player in that. He took an important wicket with the ball as well. I am very happy that Andile was able to deliver that performance today.”
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