Australia in South Africa 2008-09 March 2, 2009

Morkel to replace Tsotsobe for remaining Tests

Cricinfo staff

Will Albie Morkel finally get his chance in the longer version? © AFP

South African allrounder Albie Morkel will replace fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotobe in the squad for the remaining two Test matches against Australia. Tsotsobe, who has injured his right knee, will undergo surgery at the end of the week.

"Our medical team has established that Lonwabo Tsotsobe has suffered a torn cartilage injury to his right knee," Mike Procter, the South African convener of selectors, said. "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."

Morkel, 27, has played 35 ODIs for South Africa, scoring 432 runs at 24.00 as well as picking up 41 wickets at 30.53, but is yet to feature in a Test match.

It was Morkel's five-wicket haul on Monday in a Supersport Series match against the Dolphins that had earned him the call-up. "Albie showed good form for the Titans at the weekend and is an experienced international cricketer," Procter said. "He gives us an extra seam bowling option if we want to follow that route."

Morkel gets his chance ahead of Monde Zondeki, who was part of the Test squad which toured Australia recently. "Monde Zondeki, who was in our Test squad in Australia, has also undergone surgery and both players [Tsotsobe and Zondeki] will need about three months off to complete the rehabilitation process," Procter said.

The second Test begins on Friday in Durban, and the third will be played in Cape Town from March 19.