World T20 2016 March 22, 2016

Phangiso set for comeback in spin-friendly Nagpur

Aaron Phangiso is set to make his first international appearance since remodelling his bowling action less than two weeks ago when South Africa face West Indies in Nagpur.

Phangiso is one of only two specialist spinners in the squad and with JP Duminy, who performs the role of part offspinner, ruled out with a hamstring injury, South Africa's coach Russell Domingo indicated the selectors would have no choice but to play Phangiso.

"It's definitely a wicket where you need to play two frontline spinners. Spin is going to be important here and we are fortunate that we have two quality spinners in Imran Tahir and Aaron Phangiso, I'm confident that both of them will get game time on Friday," Domingo said.

There was a rush to get Phangiso's action cleared before the World T20 - he was only passed a couple of days before the squad left for India - but despite that, and his limited recent match time of just two warm-up games, Domingo remained confident of his readiness.

"We have a good squad of players and whoever steps in knows that everyone supports and backs him 100%. Anyone of these 15 players in the squad are good enough to come in and do the job for us," he said.

Phangiso's inclusion will likely mean that South Africa have to shorten their line-up which could become a concern in Duminy's absence and on a pitch Domingo thinks will be difficult to score off.

"JP is a big player for us. He is one of our main batters and is in good form, not having him is a big blow and does upset the balance of the side. We have some quality batsmen in our line-up who have played in these conditions before and have had success under these conditions. Whatever wicket they do prepare will be the same for both sides so it's no major issue for us."

On the flip side, that means South Africa's bowlers, who leaked runs in Mumbai, may enjoy something of a reprieve. "We have played on two great wickets in Mumbai, our batters were happy with that but I think our bowlers will be happy to play on this wicket where runs will be harder to come by," Domingo said.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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  • Agnel on March 23, 2016, 19:26 GMT

    Will WI play three spinners - include Ashley Nurse? that would make sense for sure. As an off spinner, he could be an effective bowler against lefties QDK and Miller. He can come in place of Brathwaite. also, Fletcher appears set to replace Ramdin too!

  • Julian on March 23, 2016, 11:01 GMT

    I'm hoping the SA top brass are brave enough to drop Abbot or Rabada to include Rossouw and Phangiso . Would've loved to have seen Maharaj or Shamzi at this World Cup in place of Steyn as well

    My Team : Amla , De Kock , AB , Faf , Miller , Rossouw , Wiese , Morris , Phangiso , Rabada , Tahir.

    Based on our "fantastic" quota system , Behardien might pip Rossouw .. there story will be , he can bowl a bit as well but we all know why ... :)

  • Graham on March 22, 2016, 22:54 GMT

    Phangiso, Maharaj and Leie are our next best economical bowlers for T20s after Tahir.

    Shamsi, Harmer, Piedt and Maharaj are wicket takers and should all be considered for Tests. A few years ago, all we had was Paul Harris and Robin Peterson! The spin bowling reserves are looking much better now.

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