Kyle Abbott added to South Africa squad for Durban
Fast bowler Kyle Abbott has been added to South Africa's squad for the Durban Test against India, which begins on Boxing Day. Abbott has been called in as cover for Morne Morkel, who badly sprained his ankle during the first Test and so is a doubt for the second.
Abbott has been in form in domestic first-class cricket, claiming a five-for in Dolphins' win against Lions. He had had a terrific start to his Test career as well: in his debut Test in February 2013, against Pakistan in Centurion, he took a match haul of nine including 7 for 29 in the first innings. But he hasn't played since for South Africa, with Rory Kleinveldt - the other back-up fast bowler in the squad - being preferred. In Durban, he is likely to get the nod ahead of Kleinveldt if Morkel doesn't make it.
Morkel not making it is a big possibility, given the South Africa physio says there's only 20% chance he will be fit in time. Smith said as much after Johannesburg Test: "The diagnosis Brendon Jackson, the physio, has given is that he is 20% ready for Durban, which Morne believes is 80%. At the best of times, he struggles to control those legs. We missed him in our second innings. Let us hold thumbs, but I don't think the prognosis is great."
Morkel had turned his ankle while fielding on the third day at the Wanderers, and had to be helped off the field. He was taken to the hospital immediately, and it was confirmed that it was a Grade 1 sprain. On Sunday, he spent time in a decompression chamber in hospital to bring down the swelling in the ankle. As the match drew to a close, he was ready to bat if needed and was seen padded up in the change-room. However, his mobility is minimal at the moment Smith said, and his ability to run between the wickets if he had come out to bat would have been almost non-existant.