Report9 Cricket: South Africa’s cup of woes is brimming over. With leading pacer Dale Steyn struggling for fitness, injury to fast-bowling all-rounder Vernon Philander is indeed bad news for the visitors 48 hours before the start of second Test in Bangalore.
India wrapped up the first Test in Mohali in three days and South Africa’s batting looked inadequate on a turning track. Faced with a must-win game, the mounting injury list will peg the Proteas back.
Kyle Abbott has been called up to replace Philander. Abbott last played a Test match for South Africa against the West Indies in December 2014.
Philander sustained an ankle injury during a training session in Bangalore on Thursday morning. He was warming up by playing football with teammates.
South African team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee explained: “Vernon rolled his left ankle during practice. He was taken to the hospital for an MRI scan which confirmed an ankle ligament tear which will rule him out of the current series against India.
“He will return to Cape Town this weekend to be assessed by one of Cricket South Africa’s specialists. At this moment it is still too early to tell but he will be out for a period of at least six to eight weeks.
“The first Test match against England is six weeks away so it will be a tight schedule to get him ready and rehabilitated to make that Test match. Once he has been assessed in Cape Town and a proper programme for physio and rehabilitation has been put into place we will have a clearer understanding.”
Meanwhile, JP Duminy and Morne Morkel have both recovered from their respective injuries and are available for selection for the second Test starting at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.
Steyn continues to make steady progress from a groin injury and will undergo a final fitness test on Friday before a decision on his availability for the match is made.