South Africa will be without fast bowler Anrich Nortje for the 2nd Test against West Indies
Johannesburg (AFP) - South Africa will be without fast bowler Anrich Nortje for the second Test against the West Indies which starts at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Nortje played a major role in South Africa’s 87-run win in the first Test in Centurion as part of a four-pronged pace attack, taking five for 36 in the first innings.
Cricket South Africa announced on Monday that Nortje had experienced “mild groin discomfort” during the first Test and had been advised to rest by South Africa’s medical team.
No replacement was named, which will mean a change of emphasis in South Africa’s bowling line-up, with medium-paced all-rounder Wiaan Mulder the only other seamer in the squad.
Mulder will add batting strength to the team, which could open the way for a return for left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.
Senuran Muthusamy, also a left-arm spinner, played ahead of Maharaj in Centurion as an all-rounder. But he failed with the bat and bowled only eight overs without taking a wicket.
The match is the final fixture for both teams in the World Test championship. South Africa are in fourth position but cannot qualify for the final at The Oval in London in June. West Indies are also out of the running in seventh place.
It is the last Test match for South Africa until they meet India in two matches at the end of the year.
- No ‘rhythm’ -
Players from South Africa and the West Indies lamented the shortage of Test opportunities as well as the fact that most of their scheduled series over the next four years consist of only two matches.
“West Indies deserves more Test cricket,” said fast bowler Kemar Roach.
West Indies' Kemar Roach has appealed for more Test cricket
“Two-Test series are pretty tough. By the time you get a rhythm the series is over.”
South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, whose second innings return of six for 50 hurried South Africa to victory at Centurion, was equally disappointed by the lack of opportunities at Test level.
“It is disappointing that we are not playing as much Test cricket as we would like. I see Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game,” he said.
The two Tests against the West Indies come in a summer dominated by the new SA20 franchise competition and the Women’s T20 World Cup. There is a low-key feel about the matches, which had minimal build-up and were scheduled in midweek, almost guaranteeing low spectator turn-out.
But Rabada pledged full commitment. “You’re playing a Test match,” he said. “The West Indies are a capable team. Whether it’s high profile or low profile it’s a Test match and you have to rock up and play your best.”
South Africa: Temba Bavuma (captain), Dean Elgar, Aiden Markram, Tony de Zorzi, Keegan Petersen, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Gerald Coetzee
West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Raymon Reifer, Jermaine Blackwood, Kyle Mayers, Joshua Da Silva (wkt), Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel
Umpires: Marais Erasmus (RSA), Paul Reiffel (AUS)
TV umpire: Kumar Dharmasena (SRI)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)