NEW DELHI: The availability of South African fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala for the upcoming ODI World Cup in India remains uncertain as the duo faces a fitness test this week. Both players were initially included in South Africa‘s 15-member squad for the World Cup but had limited participation in the recently concluded five-match ODI series against Australia, raising concerns about their readiness for the global tournament.
Nortje has been grappling with a lower back injury, while Magala is nursing a left knee problem. South Africa are scheduled to depart for India on September 23, and a final decision on the participation of these two fast bowlers will be made prior to the team’s departure.
However, early indications suggest that Nortje and Magala are unlikely to be part of the World Cup squad.
“We are continually taking stock as to where both of those players are,” revealed South Africa’s white-ball coach Rob Walter, as reported by ESPNcricinfo following South Africa’s 3-2 series victory 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.”
Should Nortje and Magala be deemed unavailable, South Africa are likely to call up Andile Phehlukwayo to join 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,” noted Walter.
“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.”(With PTI inputs)