South Africa v India, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 3rd day December 20, 2013

Injured Morkel unable to bowl in rest of match


'High-heel shoes not a good idea'

South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel will not be able to bowl anymore in the ongoing Test against India, after suffering an ankle ligament injury just before lunch on the third day at the Wanderers. His participation in the second Test is also in doubt, with team manager Mohammad Moosajee saying a grade one ligament injury usually takes seven to ten days to heal.

Morkel's unavailability left South Africa in a dire position in the first Test: India's lead was 67 when he hobbled off before lunch and they had extended it beyond 250 with eight wickets in hand by the time the severity of the injury was confirmed. He will bat in South Africa's second innings only if absolutely necessary.

"Losing Morne is probably worse pain than my toothache," Vernon Philander, who bowled 18 overs in Morkel's absence, said after the day's play.

Morkel fell while fielding in the over before lunch and appeared to have twisted his right ankle when his foot got stuck in the turf as he ran around from fine leg to collect a ball. He managed to throw the ball back to the wicketkeeper but then went down, clutching his ankle. South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith, was at his side immediately and one of the fielders called for a stretcher, but after the physiotherapist Brandon Jackson arrived on the field, Morkel was able to walk off, helped by bowling coach Allan Donald.

Morkel had bowled only two overs in the second innings before he was injured. He had been South Africa's most impressive bowler in India's first innings, taking three wickets and generating steep bounce. By the end of the first session on the third day, India had reached 31 for 1, extending their lead to 67 runs.

The second Test in Durban begins on December 26.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 23, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    where is hendrics , viljon and de lange....but good to see abott back.

  • Gareth on December 21, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster: "In overseas conditions, mainly in Asia"... 6 wickets for 138 runs in 2 tests in the UAE constitutes a battering now???

  • Gordon on December 21, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    One of these three players I think will most likely replace him.

    1. Beuran Hendricks (if Robin Peterson plays 2nd Test he could help him) 2. Kyle Abbott (Played one Test to date and can Bat) 3. Ayabulela Gqamane (playing ok but went through rough patch)

    I guess I would go for whichever player is the tallest but then again the numbers may have a say in that as well.

  • Jay on December 21, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Without Morkel and Steyn, SA are ordinary. Philander is good but that's mainly in home conditions. In overseas conditions, mainly in Asia, he will be taken apart. So does this mean SA are no.1 only at home ? This is why test cricket is so puzzling. There is too much disparity between home teams and visiting teams. Hopefully, an Indian victory will rewrite all of that in the next 2 days.

  • Sumeet on December 21, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    great bowler. The true test of this batting lineup would have been with him on fire as well. I'm sure Pujara and Kohli will agree to it as well. Morkel was indeed the most dangerous of the SA trio. Get well soon man, hope to see you in Durban.

  • Android on December 21, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    nothing new in test cricket... sure SA is not depending only on morkel, if yes then its for their own undoing... if steyn and co can't do the job in their own den then our batters would have achieved a enormous victory... look out for more action today.

  • Android on December 21, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    Nothing new test cricket, if SA is depending only on morkel then its for their own undoing.... if steyn and co can't do the job on their own den then its a enormous victory for our batters... what a credible performance from batting side, way to go team India....

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2013, 23:27 GMT

    great loss SA attack..get well soon buddy

  • Android on December 20, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    SA bowling unit looks like a ship without navigation

  • ESPN on December 20, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Quoting Mr. Navjyot Singh Sidhu: "An Injured predator, will go for the kill". Team India, cross your fingers in Durban Test.