De Lange bolsters South Africa bowling stocks
Marchant de Lange has bolstered South fast bowling stocks ahead of the ODI series against England.
But the likelihood that Albie Morkel will also be added, following injuries to Dale Steyn and Kyle Abbott, has receded because he has been afflicted by a back spasm.
Morkel's injury became apparent when he was playing in the Momentum One-Day Cup in East London. A decision on his involvement - or a replacement - is expected on Monday.
De Lange hardly advertised his wares when he took 2 for 69 for a South Africa A side thrashed by 163 runs by England in Kimberley in a warm-up match ahead of the series. But he now has the chance to add to his three ODI caps, the last of them won more than a year ago.
Russell Domingo, South Africa's coach, reiterated that as well as the absence of Steyn, Abbott and Vernon Philander, there was also concern over the workload of Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel in the recent Test series which pointed to likely opportunities for de Lange to push his claims.
"Marchant gives us more options with our fast bowlers," Domingo said. "We need to manage the workloads of Morkel and Rabada, who have played a lot. We need to manage them over the next few days. We need to broaden our fast bowling base for this series.
"We have had a lot of injuries of late. Not having Dale and Vernon is a big blow, but it's an opportunity to test the depth of South African cricket and to provide opportunities for the fringe bowlers to step up and put in some good performances."
South Africa do have the encouragement of a 3-2 win against India in their last ODI series as they seek to redress the balance after a 2-1 defeat in the Test series. The opening match takes place at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
"In South Africa we will always want to be regarded as favourites in home conditions," Domingo said. "We have a good and settled side, we have been playing really well and we have some of the best one-day batsmen in the world."