Morkel in the frame
Albie Morkel has been called up to South Africa’s Test squad for the final two games of the three-match series against Australia after injuries to pacemen Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Monde Zondeki.
The Titans all-rounder, who was one of the Proteas’ star players in the one-day internationals against Ricky Ponting’s team earlier this year when he helped them to a 4-1 series win, is yet to feature in a Test for his country.
However, the absence of the two replacements, coupled with South Africa’s 162-run loss in the first Test today, means he has an outside chance of playing.
“Our medical team has established that Lonwabo Tsotsobe has suffered a torn cartilage injury to his right knee,” said convener of selectors Mike Procter.
“The medical committee feels that he should have surgery as soon as possible and this will take place towards the end of this week. We certainly could not risk him in a Test match.
“Monde Zondeki, who was in our Test squad in Australia, has also undergone surgery and both players will need about three months off to complete the rehabilitation process.”
Morkel took six wickets and made 42 runs to help his province beat the Dolphins in a first-class game at the weekend, which convinced the selectors that he was the right replacement.
Proctor added: ”Albie showed good form for the Titans at the weekend and is an experienced international cricketer.
“He gives us an extra seam bowling option if we want to follow that route.”
The second Test begins in Durban on Friday, with the final match taking place in Cape Town on March 19. South Africa need to win both games in order to head the ICC Test Championship table.