South Africa in England 2012 July 31, 2012

Albie Morkel picks up ankle injury


Albie Morkel, the South Africa all-rounder, will be out of action for up to 10 days due to an ankle and South Africa have called in Faf du Plessis as cover. Morkel will remain with the squad as he awaits results of his scans and the expectation is he will be available for the third Test if required.

Morkel, who was unlikely to come into contention for the Headingley Test, was one of the reserves who impressed in the tour match against Worcestershire last week. He scored a half-century while batsmen in the Test XI, Alviro Petersen, Jacques Rudolph and JP Duminy failed.

Morkel has only played one Test, against Australia in 2009, and was initially called up as a replacement when he took the place of fast bowler Marchant de Lange who had to leave the tour in the first week. De Lange sustained a back injury in last month's unofficial Twenty20 tri-series in June and could not recover in time for the series. Morkel was easily accessible for the visitors as he had been playing in the Friends Life t20 for Somerset

Du Plessis has recently been captaining South Africa A in a fifty-over tri-series in Zimbabwe, which also included Sri Lanka A. His much improved first-class record in the previous season, in which he batted at No.4 or 5 instead of lower down as was the case previously for his franchise Titans, has put him in contention for a Test spot recently. During the 2011-12 season he scored 599 runs from four matches including three hundreds.

He is also due to lead South Africa A in a series against Ireland which starts next Monday. If he is not required for a Test debut at Headingley, which would only come about due to injury, he will leave the squad on Thursday and join up with the A team in Wicklow.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Faf or Albie can play at 7 behind Duminy at 6 unless Rudolph really scores in the 2nd test 2nd innings. That gives SA 6 bowlers incl Kallis.

  • Randolph on August 1, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    I've liked what i've seen of Faf, much the same mould as Jaques Kallis/

  • Satish on August 1, 2012, 12:34 GMT

    Faf will be a very good option in case anyone fails.. He would be a better choice as per current combination and can replace in case any of Duminy, Alviro or Rudolph goes wrong.. Excellent fielder and a half spinner..

  • Nicholas on August 1, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    @BlackInWhites (post on July 31 2012, 13:53 PM GMT): totally agree, that's just what I was going to type. I'm not really understanding what SA are planning with all this squad-changing stuff. I thought the whole idea of 'substitutes' was 'like-for-like replacements', unless there's huge differences in pitches during a series where one team might prefer, for example, to field two spinners for a game or two. Petersen at the top of the order is the only SA under the spot-light, so maybe Du Plessis could get a run?

  • Sifiso on August 1, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    Good replacement indeed. I think Faf's as ready as anyone to come into the SA test set up. I see him taking the opportunity with both hands if granted with it. He is contastantly improving his technique and has strong presence of mind...

  • Rob on August 1, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    With his imminent arrival for the one day series would it also have made sense to call up McLaren a little early - especially for his bowling at Headingley.

  • Steven on July 31, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    @ThePrtoeasMan - called the same thing the other night.. I wouldnt be surprised if they actually do that.. Hope so! Better fielder, batsmen and can bowl if need be. Hope they do....

  • Steven on July 31, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    Faf is the perfect replacement @Blackinwhites.. Why bring over another bowler to carry drinks, we already have Lopsy in that position..

  • yusuf on July 31, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Good Plan by SA. Now we can get Rudolph to open n put Faf at 7 . Alviro is out of his depth opening in English conditions as the Warm up's ,Test match and his county stint would suggest

  • Brian on July 31, 2012, 13:53 GMT

    First it was De Lange (a specialist bowler) then came Morkel (an all-rounder) and now its Du Plessis (a specialist batsman)..... I wonder what the selectors' intentions are in selecting a player of different skill every time... This position is cursed, I hope Du Plessis lives to see the 3rd test...

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