South Africa’s fast bowling spearheads, Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala, are set to undergo crucial fitness assessments this week to determine their eligibility for the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup campaign. Both players were initially named in South Africa’s 15-member squad for the prestigious event. However, concerns have arisen as they only played one match each during South Africa’s recent 3-2 ODI series triumph over Australia.
Injuries Plague Nortje and Magala
Nortje is grappling with a lower-back injury, while Magala has been sidelined due to a left knee ailment. According to a report by ESPNCricinfo, a final decision regarding their participation will be made just before South Africa departs for India on September 23. Early indications suggest that both players are at risk of missing out on the ODI World Cup.
Head coach Rob Walter expressed his concerns, stating, “We are continually assessing the condition of both of those players. The fact that they weren’t on the field today, just a week before we board the plane for the World Cup, is certainly a cause for concern.”
Walter further elaborated on the challenges of taking injured players to a World Cup, saying, “There are complications around taking players that are injured into a World Cup because then you have to provide a medical reason for their inclusion.”
Andile Phehlukwayo as a Replacement?
If either Nortje or Magala is unable to participate in the ODI World Cup, South Africa is likely to consider the inclusion of pace all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo. He showcased his abilities in the final ODI against Australia, scoring an impressive 38 runs off just 19 balls. Walter praised Phehlukwayo’s performance, stating, “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. That knock had a significant impact on the match, both with the bat and ball.”
Phehlukwayo also played a pivotal role in taking an important wicket with the ball during the match. Walter expressed his satisfaction with Phehlukwayo’s performance and contribution to the team’s success.
(This story has not been edited by Smartkhabrinews staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – IANS)