South Africa coach Ottis Gibson has confirmed that veteran batsman Hashim Amla will miss the limited-overs tour to Australia later this month owing to a finger injury.
Amla had sustained the injury while playing in the Caribbean Premier League last month. Subsequently, he missed the recently held ODI and T20I series at home against Zimbabwe.
"There are a lot of guys we have in our thoughts who will be in the squad to Australia. Hashim is injured, he is out of the squad already, as a selection group we have already discussed that with him. We want to give him as much time as possible for him to get ready for the next set of cricket that he has coming up,” South Africa coach Ottis Gibson told reporters on Sunday.
"We know that Quinny and Hashim has been a fantastic opening pair for the Proteas for a long time, and we also know that Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markram have also been very good in franchise cricket. The wickets at the start of the series, especially in one-day cricket were a bit tough for batting, so from that point of view we didn't get to see as much as we would have liked, but we know where we are with those two," he added.
Gibson was in full of praise for the Proteas bowling unit, citing that the performance of senior bowlers like Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn against Zimbabwe was uplifting.
"We had given Tahir time off (from the tour of Sri Lanka) to allow us to see other players and he has come back and shown us why he is our number one," Gibson said. "I know what Rabada and Ngidi can do but for me the real excitement was watching Dale Steyn bowling in the second game in Bloemfontein. It was fantastic to see him back to that level again, bowling quickly with that skill and accuracy. That is the real exciting part for me."
Considering that the 2019 World Cup is less than 12 months to go, Gibson said they would stop experimenting with the squad.
"For the last 12 months we have been looking at players. In the next couple of months the window is closing, the players have been told that the window is closing all the time. We are getting closer and closer to the guys that we want on the journey. In the Pakistan and Sri Lanka series we want to be focusing on a core of 17 to 18 players we will be looking at," Gibson concluded.
South Africa tour to Australia:
November 4: 1st ODI, Perth
November 9: 2nd ODI, Adelaide Oval
November 11: 3rd ODI, Hobart
November 17: Only T20I, Carrara Oval, Queensland