The buzz concerning the forthcoming Test series between India and South Africa has already gripped the ardent cricket fans and now to make the contest all the more thrilling, Cricket South Africa’s medical committee head Dr. Shuaib Manjra has confirmed that the speedsters Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander are fit to play in the much-anticipated series.
“Morne is back and fit to play. He is doing fine and he is also expected to play in the international against Zimbabwe. Even Vernon and Chris Morris are back to bowling. There are no more injury concerns among pacers in the team” Dr. Manjra was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
Morkel has been in fine form ever since his comeback from the injury. The lanky pacer recently claimed 7-wicket haul in the three-day cup for the Easterns. As far as Philander is concerned – the 32-year-old is yet to find his groove. The CSA medical committee head also confirmed that the Proteas selectors will most probably announce the squad by next week.
“The selectors are likely to announce the South African squad for the India series by next week,” revealed Dr Manjra.
Moreover, the Proteas pace attack will be bolstered by the presence of certain Dale Steyn. No wonder, the legendary India opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar feels that it will be a real challenge for Kohli and company to cope up with the South African bowling attack.
“Dale Steyn will be itching to play Test cricket after a long lay-off due to injury. Whether he will be able to regain his pace is something only time will tell, but even if he bowls at reduced speed his late moving out-swingers will not be easy for the Indian batsmen to negotiate. There is also Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel to contend with, and that’s going to be much more difficult than facing just Suranga Lakmal,” Gavaskar wrote in his recent column for Sportstar.
India will face South Africa in three-match Test series from January 5 at Newlands, Cape Town. The series will be followed by six ODIs and three T20Is.
Itinerary (India’s tour to South Africa):
Jan 05 - Jan 09, 1st Test – Newlands, Cape Town
Jan 13 - Jan 17, 2nd Test – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Jan 24 - Jan 28, 3rd Test – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 01, 1st ODI – Kingsmead, Durban
Feb 04, 2nd ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 07, 3rd ODI – Newlands, Cape Town
Feb 10, 4th ODI – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 13, 5th ODI – St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
Feb 16, 6th ODI – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 18, 1st T20I – New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Feb 21, 2nd T20I – SuperSport Park, Centurion
Feb 24, 3rd T20I – Newlands, Cape Town