South Africa v England, 2nd Test, Cape Town December 31, 2015

Viljoen called in as cover for injured Abbott

ESPNcricinfo staff

Hardus Viljoen has picked up 20 wickets for Lions in the first two rounds of South Africa's first-class competition © Getty Images

South Africa's depleted pace attack has been supplied with further reinforcements after Hardus Viljoen was called up as cover for Kyle Abbott ahead of the Cape Town Test. Abbott suffered tightness in his left hamstring during South Africa's heavy defeat to England in Durban.

Dale Steyn is already a major doubt after suffering a shoulder injury while bowling in England's second innings, which increased the workload for South Africa's three-man pace attack. Abbott bowled 45.4 overs at Kingsmead, picking up two wickets, as South Africa lost by 241 runs.

There is just a two-day gap before the start of the New Year's Test, giving Abbott and Morne Morkel precious little recovery time. South Africa are also without Vernon Philander, after he tore ankle ligaments on the tour of India.

"With a short turnaround between the first and second Tests, we've included Hardus in the squad as a precautionary measure to cover all our bases," convener of selectors Linda Zondi said.

South Africa's captain, Hashim Amla, said that Steyn would undergo a fitness test on Friday, suggesting "there may be a necessary change there". Kagiso Rabada is Steyn's most likely replacement, although Chris Morris has also joined the squad along with Quinton de Kock.

"The fact that he didn't bowl in the second innings and with it being only a two-day turnaround... I hope he does play. But let's leave it for Friday," Amla said of Steyn.

Uncapped Viljoen, who has 295 wickets from 73 first-class matches, has been in fine form for Lions, picking up 20 wickets in the first two rounds of matches in South Africa's first-class competition. He was the second-leading wicket-taker last season but considered moving to New Zealand amid frustration about his lack of international recognition.

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