South Africa v India, 2nd Test, Durban December 25, 2013

Morkel likely to play in Durban

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Morne Morkel has recovered from the ankle sprain that kept him from bowling for most of the second innings at the Wanderers and will be considered for selection for the Durban Test. Morkel had a fitness test on Christmas Day and batted in the nets at the team's optional training session. He is likely to play in the Boxing Day match.

"He seems to be okay. I haven't chatted to the physiotherapist Brandon Jackson again but just briefly chatting to Morne, he seems to be fine so that's good news for us," Russell Domingo, South Africa's coach said.

After slipping on the turf and being helped off the field in the over before lunch on the third day of the first Test, Morkel was said to need seven to ten days rest and was given only a 20% chance of playing in the Boxing Day match. Graeme Smith said after the Wanderers Test that the prognosis on Morkel was "not great", but the South Africa pacer believed he had an 80% chance of playing.

Morkel spent the afternoon in a decompression chamber in hospital to bring down the swelling and was padded up to bat on Sunday. He was not needed, and Smith said Morkel could barely stand and would have struggled to take the crease, never mind running between the wickets. On Monday, Morkel had made some progress but there was still concern over whether he would break down mid-Test.

By Tuesday, however, the fast bowler was spotted bowling with a heavily strapped ankle and today, took part in training. He moved with ease, stepping out of his crease to hit the ball and walked without any discomfort. He is unlikely to have another fitness Test, and a final call will be taken by team management this evening.

Should they decide Morkel will last the full five days, he will be a certain pick after finishing the Johannesburg game as South Africa's most menacing bowler. Domingo confirmed that if Morkel was fit, there would be no place for either Rory Kleinveldt or Kyle Abbott as South Africa would not consider an all-pace attack and leave JP Duminy to do the slower-bowling duties. "I always like to play the spinner, so it's highly unlikely we will change the make-up of the team," Domingo said.

What could change is the spinner South Africa use. "We need to think about the spinner a bit more. We probably need somebody to do more of a holding role for us, so Robbie [Robin Peterson] will come into contention but I need to still discuss that with selectors," Domingo said.

Imran Tahir, who briefly called Durban his home ground, was ineffective and expensive at the Wanderers and, with the Indian batsmen able to pick and play him with ease, South Africa may opt for a more conservative spinner, despite the surface they will be playing on.

Kingsmead's pitch could take turn on the final two days and Domingo is expecting a tough encounter on a surface that may be more sub-continental than South Africa would like.

"It looks pretty dry, which is probably not what we were expecting," he said. "It's going to be a hard Test match. It's not going to be a short 180 all-out game."

South Africa have lost the last four Tests they've played in Durban but Domingo said the record is not haunting their preparation.

"It's my first Test in Durban, so I don't carry any baggage here. I love this city. I always said if I were to leave PE, I'd live in Durban," he said. "I know a lot of the players are really looking forward to this. It's an icon Test for us."

With bright sunshine, warm weather and the news of Morkel's fitness, Domingo was also not fussed about the way Dale Steyn or Hashim Amla performed in the first Test. Steyn went wicketless in the second innings and Amla was bowled twice while attempting to leave the ball, but Domingo expects them to bounce back strongly.

"I was watching Hashim earlier in the nets and I said I know this guy is going to get runs at some stage. He is too good a player not to," he said. "He has had a great run of form for the last three years. It's not like he has been in form for two weeks, he has been in form for three years. And Dale, too. He'll be back. That's what great players do, they step up. I expect them to put in great performances in the next few days."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • KALAM46 on December 26, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    At Durban, SA should replace Tahir with Robbin Peterson, otherwise it would be a risk. For India Jadeja should be considered in place of Rohit Sharma. Jadeja is an excellent fielding all-rounder; over and all he is an exploiter to change the turn of game. While wishing Best of Luck to both SA and India hope a thriller again. The retirement of Jacques Kallis is a big loss for Test Cricket lovers. He is definitely the all time great all-rounder of this beautiful sport. Thank you Jacques for giving us plenty of enjoyment and fun through out your carrier. Best Wishes.

  • har007 on December 26, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    I point is that SA should go with Tahir for this match also. because if the patch is going to have turn in the fourth and fifth day then no point of having a spinner who cannot turn and take wickets. the holding role can be done by JP as well. SA need a spinner who can take wickets in this pitch. therefore the first choice would be Tahir when compared Robin with Tahir.

  • humdrum on December 26, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    I think the Proteas would be silly to play Morkel and risk further injury which could affect his career.Surely they have replacements in the ranks ? Having said that,their spin department looks pretty weak,and should the wicket turn out to be dry,and turn on the last two days,they hardly have any spinner worth the name to exploit the conditions.Not impressive for the top test side in the world.After all,they should have men for all situations,against all opposition,home and away.They are (were ?) expected to win this home series and failure to do so would whet the appetite of Australia,who would be thinking that the Proteas are right there for the taking.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 26, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    Looking forward to another great match in Durban. Morkel's injury didn't look good and I hope he's alright and continues to be. Good luck to both sides and congratulations to Kallis on a magnificent career.

  • on December 25, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    I am worried about the three non-performers from the fist test: Dhawan, Rohit & Ashwin.

    Dhawan, taking the Veeru-way is my biggest disappointment. Veeru-way is OK for the short formats. Every one is blind (including himself) about his poor show in tests, just because of his great debut century, where he batted with more caution, to get himself re-established in test cricket. Excessive praise seems to have clouded his mindset.

    Ashwin: Durban is, perhaps,the only SA venue, where probably he can make an impact. If he fails in Durban too, he HAS TO DEVELOP NEW SKILLS to be effective in SA, NZ. OZ & ENG . (of course in bi-lateral series). In multi-lateral tourneys, ICC comes into the picture, and they do not permit 'doctored' pitches, which seems to have become a norm, and a 'proud' move, in bi-laterals.

    Rohit: His old problem of chasing outgoing balls, playing away from the body, and generally a little bit of 'loose' batting has resurfaced.

    Going to watch the three with bated breath.

  • on December 25, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Too late to bring in Jadeja for Ashwin. Need Dhawan and Robit and Ashwin to put up a good show. Rohit was out to a shooter in the second innings but fell to his old nemesis, lack of concentration in the First innings, cannot tolerate that. Dhawan has been the big disappointment. He needs to stay at the wicket. The fist goal is to stay till lunch and take it from there. Ashwin needs to come up with a game plan how he is going to take wicket.

  • on December 25, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Cant wait for the test to begin. India should go all out even if it means there would be some very tired bowlers with niggles at the end of the test. They could always bring in the back up bowlers against NZ

  • jimmyvida on December 25, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    Let's say we do what the shouters are saying .Drop Rohit for Jadeja and drop Ashwin for Ojha. We now have six batsmen including Dhoni and 5 bowlers who can't bat. India will be certain to lose in 3 days. With a team like that and were I Smith, win the toss, send India in, get them out by the second period and WALLA! You have concluded that the No. 3 and 4 batsmen scored in the first test, therefore...

  • on December 25, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    @ TVR.Cricket - I feel that Ashwin is not good enough for test matches though he is a smart cricketer in ODI's. He might have all round abilities but Ojha is the best spinner in the squad. i am sure Jadeja would have caused more problems to the batsmen with his quicker ones than what ashwin did at wanderers. If its for all round abilities that ashwin is playing then jadeja should take his place as he is a better batsmen and fielder too.

  • on December 25, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    I am worried about the three non-performers from the fist test: Dhawan, Rohit & Ashwin. Dhawan, taking the Veeru way is my biggest disappointment. Veeru way is OK for the short format. Every one is blind (including himself) about Dhawan's poor show in Tests, just because of his great debut century, where he batted with more caution, to get himself re-established in test cricket. Excessive praise seems to have clouded his mindset.

    Durban is the only SA venue, where probably Ashwin can make an impact. If he fails in Durban too, he HAS TO DEVELOP NEW SKILLS to be effective in SA, NZ. OZ & ENG -- of course in bi-lateral series. In multi-lateral tourneys, ICC comes into the picture, and they do not permit 'doctored' pitches, which seems to have become a norm, and a 'proud' move!

    By the way, what Hessen (coach of NZ)says is factually incorrect. He says, he wants to give India back in the same coin. He is forgetting what NZ did in the series in NZ when Bond was at his peak.

  • KALAM46 on December 26, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    At Durban, SA should replace Tahir with Robbin Peterson, otherwise it would be a risk. For India Jadeja should be considered in place of Rohit Sharma. Jadeja is an excellent fielding all-rounder; over and all he is an exploiter to change the turn of game. While wishing Best of Luck to both SA and India hope a thriller again. The retirement of Jacques Kallis is a big loss for Test Cricket lovers. He is definitely the all time great all-rounder of this beautiful sport. Thank you Jacques for giving us plenty of enjoyment and fun through out your carrier. Best Wishes.

  • har007 on December 26, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    I point is that SA should go with Tahir for this match also. because if the patch is going to have turn in the fourth and fifth day then no point of having a spinner who cannot turn and take wickets. the holding role can be done by JP as well. SA need a spinner who can take wickets in this pitch. therefore the first choice would be Tahir when compared Robin with Tahir.

  • humdrum on December 26, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    I think the Proteas would be silly to play Morkel and risk further injury which could affect his career.Surely they have replacements in the ranks ? Having said that,their spin department looks pretty weak,and should the wicket turn out to be dry,and turn on the last two days,they hardly have any spinner worth the name to exploit the conditions.Not impressive for the top test side in the world.After all,they should have men for all situations,against all opposition,home and away.They are (were ?) expected to win this home series and failure to do so would whet the appetite of Australia,who would be thinking that the Proteas are right there for the taking.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 26, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    Looking forward to another great match in Durban. Morkel's injury didn't look good and I hope he's alright and continues to be. Good luck to both sides and congratulations to Kallis on a magnificent career.

  • on December 25, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    I am worried about the three non-performers from the fist test: Dhawan, Rohit & Ashwin.

    Dhawan, taking the Veeru-way is my biggest disappointment. Veeru-way is OK for the short formats. Every one is blind (including himself) about his poor show in tests, just because of his great debut century, where he batted with more caution, to get himself re-established in test cricket. Excessive praise seems to have clouded his mindset.

    Ashwin: Durban is, perhaps,the only SA venue, where probably he can make an impact. If he fails in Durban too, he HAS TO DEVELOP NEW SKILLS to be effective in SA, NZ. OZ & ENG . (of course in bi-lateral series). In multi-lateral tourneys, ICC comes into the picture, and they do not permit 'doctored' pitches, which seems to have become a norm, and a 'proud' move, in bi-laterals.

    Rohit: His old problem of chasing outgoing balls, playing away from the body, and generally a little bit of 'loose' batting has resurfaced.

    Going to watch the three with bated breath.

  • on December 25, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Too late to bring in Jadeja for Ashwin. Need Dhawan and Robit and Ashwin to put up a good show. Rohit was out to a shooter in the second innings but fell to his old nemesis, lack of concentration in the First innings, cannot tolerate that. Dhawan has been the big disappointment. He needs to stay at the wicket. The fist goal is to stay till lunch and take it from there. Ashwin needs to come up with a game plan how he is going to take wicket.

  • on December 25, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Cant wait for the test to begin. India should go all out even if it means there would be some very tired bowlers with niggles at the end of the test. They could always bring in the back up bowlers against NZ

  • jimmyvida on December 25, 2013, 14:49 GMT

    Let's say we do what the shouters are saying .Drop Rohit for Jadeja and drop Ashwin for Ojha. We now have six batsmen including Dhoni and 5 bowlers who can't bat. India will be certain to lose in 3 days. With a team like that and were I Smith, win the toss, send India in, get them out by the second period and WALLA! You have concluded that the No. 3 and 4 batsmen scored in the first test, therefore...

  • on December 25, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    @ TVR.Cricket - I feel that Ashwin is not good enough for test matches though he is a smart cricketer in ODI's. He might have all round abilities but Ojha is the best spinner in the squad. i am sure Jadeja would have caused more problems to the batsmen with his quicker ones than what ashwin did at wanderers. If its for all round abilities that ashwin is playing then jadeja should take his place as he is a better batsmen and fielder too.

  • on December 25, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    I am worried about the three non-performers from the fist test: Dhawan, Rohit & Ashwin. Dhawan, taking the Veeru way is my biggest disappointment. Veeru way is OK for the short format. Every one is blind (including himself) about Dhawan's poor show in Tests, just because of his great debut century, where he batted with more caution, to get himself re-established in test cricket. Excessive praise seems to have clouded his mindset.

    Durban is the only SA venue, where probably Ashwin can make an impact. If he fails in Durban too, he HAS TO DEVELOP NEW SKILLS to be effective in SA, NZ. OZ & ENG -- of course in bi-lateral series. In multi-lateral tourneys, ICC comes into the picture, and they do not permit 'doctored' pitches, which seems to have become a norm, and a 'proud' move!

    By the way, what Hessen (coach of NZ)says is factually incorrect. He says, he wants to give India back in the same coin. He is forgetting what NZ did in the series in NZ when Bond was at his peak.

  • on December 25, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    SA is trying to fool india here.morkel won't play tommarrow, indian's better read videos of abbot and prepare for a all pace attack

  • spot_on on December 25, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    I know what Ligament injuries are like.. I've personally undergone an ACL reconstruction. Saffa is gonna lose Morne forever if they play him just for the sake of Indians. Don't lose a classy fast. Ligament injuries will haunt for life.

  • creebo777 on December 25, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    hope morkel play ,been bowling really well,pls donnot play robbie p,even jp is better then him,stick with tahir

  • ramli on December 25, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Morkel, if selected will let SA down ... the risk of injuring oneself will always be in his mind and definitely hinder full-bowling ... not a wise take at all for SA ... it is at their own peril

  • Diaz54 on December 25, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    Jango moh.......the perspective is that, India on 5 th day pitch could not take genuine wickets. Kallis, 2 runt puts, two played on were hardly incisive bowling. If a side can't take wickets on last day then there is an issue. As to SA collapse in the first innings, it was down to sudden cloud cover,,hitch made the ball swing all over th place. This can happen any time, I guess India would hope for that in Durban. Batting wise India have a very good batsmen no argument there.

  • yuvi_gladiator on December 25, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @Franklin Shand oh well it might still last 3 days but these statements make me chuckle a bit after the first test :). Anyways SA - Ind are even as 2-2 in last two series results in SA were tied on 1-1 and 1-1 in india as well. So i am surprised SA have not dominated india in SA over last two series there. good chance for both teams to claim first series win in last 5 years but more pressure on SA as they will be humiliated if this young side beats them.

  • on December 25, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    Ashwin may be India's best spinner but Ozha is better bowler overseas than Ashwin

  • Captainman on December 25, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    Risky playing Morkel. That Abbott guy looks interesting and should play.

  • yuvi_gladiator on December 25, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    i would be surprised if Morkel plays. He is too important for SA to take a risk

  • TVR.Cricket on December 25, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    I feel Ashwin is far better spinner than Ojha/Mishra/Harbajan with current form. Also his alround abilities will be bonus to indian team. Only replacement I feel is Ojha replacing Rahane or Rohit. Which will make dhoni attack with two spinners in tandom. Gives rest to Fast bowlers during 25 to 40. Bring pacers for reverse swing from 40th over with spinner at one end. If same team picked, atleast Rohit should be used as 5th bowler, Rather than kohli.

  • NEIL_GD_S10 on December 25, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    Indian team should be this, dhawan, vijay,pujara,kohli,rohit,jadeja,dhoni,zaheer,ishant, shami, umesh.

    best 11 for batting and bowling as well

  • karnamgiridhar on December 25, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Kingsmead known as Green Mamba will certainly test Indian batsmen one more time. despite spinners will have little more than the previous match, both teams will have only one specialist spinner. Can Imran Tahir or Ojha or ashwin can repeat rangana herath, time would tell. Overall, its hard to predict performance, after the result of the first test match. all the best to both the teams

  • PrasPunter on December 25, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    @TommyTuckerSaffa, thats a good lineup - good batting depth and a nice array of bowlers. Good luck from an Aussie fan for a test and series win !!

  • Kirk-at-Lords on December 25, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Now that an ill-prepared Team India have deployed their raw talent and nerve to push the Saffers to their very limits, and have benefited enormously from RSA's risk-averse approach to the possibility of a famous record-setting 5th day chase in the Jo'burg test, we must all once again rue the manipulations of the Big Men in the Sky Boxes of the BCCI. With a proper number of properly spaced tests (3, preferably 4), this series could have been an epic one. Now, it appears that India's bowlers have shot their proverbial bolt, and simply lack the time needed to recover their strength in time for the Boxing Day test in Durban. All depends on a single toss of the coin to determine whether India will be in a position to avoid taking the field in the first innings. Even if they manage that feat, it is only Morne Morkel's injury that gives India any reasonable chance of taking this disappointingly short series. Once again, shame on the BCCI for creating this highly unsatisfying situation.

  • on December 25, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    I believe India needs to bring ojha in for ashwin if a spinner has to play in durban as ojha is the best spinner in the squad. Dhoni needs to set aggressive fields for spinners and dont give away easy singles to rotate the strike. i dont see aggressive fields set for spinners as it used to be in azhar and ganguly's period of captaincy. is that we dont have quality spinners in the squad or captain is hesitant to give them aggressive fields ?

  • on December 25, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    I am sure if ashwin is there in playing XI india cannot take 20 wickets to go ahead and win the match. In fact ashwin relieves the pressure applied by other indian bowlers by bowling to a field which gives away easy singles. Singles is what is required to relieve pressure in test cricket which allows rotating strike. Dhoni needs to think about this and give ashwin a break and if a spinner is required in Durban ojha is our best bet. south africans are not that good against left arm/leg spin if there is a bit of turn/bounce in the pitch and ojha is our best spinner in the squad.

  • jango_moh on December 25, 2013, 7:13 GMT

    i have a problem when ppl say india could not take 20 wickets in the 2nd innings!!!! SA with the "best" attack in the world could not take a wicket for a long time until the indians started to attack.... a little perspective would be nice.....

  • Johnny_129 on December 25, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    This Abbott guy has more than 160 FC wickets at 21 avg! And he totally destroyed Pak in his only test - so India can't afford to rest easy against him!! I don't think SA will take a risk with Morkel - After all, the no.1 test side must show depth in bowling. It will be interesting as Steyn and Philander bowled quite a few overs - And dare we say that Steyn is out of form?!

  • on December 25, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    I think saffers have enough fire power despite morkel's injury. As for tahir the skipper should back him to the hilt if he plays or else don't play him rather than short change him in the match. that's very humiliating for any bowler. I remember ponting doing the same to shaun tait in a match against india & tait left test cricket forever. As for the Indians their batting holds the key especially their middle order some of whom r due for runs. As for indian bowling it depends on which side of bed they wake-up.

  • gundapps on December 25, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Bringing in Peterson in place of Tahir and Abbott in place of injured Morkel gives SA a strong batting line up till No. 9 and a very balanced bowling attack. I cannot see the weak Indian bowling, whatever the chosen combination, take 20 SA wickets with this line up. It is left entirely to India's batting to repeat their performance at the Wanderers if they are to draw the second test. Hope the Indian batting in the first test does not prove to be a flash in the pan.

  • DhairyBoghani on December 25, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    Two reason of bad 4th Innings bowling. 1))Bad spin bowling as duminy-tahir both gone for 2-2 wickets each & aswin hadn't take least one. We can believe he hadn't bowled bad but true thing is that he couldn't find a wicket against not so well spin players. # Change him with Jadeja. Better batsman & better bowler according to condition. 2)) Bad use of new ball in both Innings. we produced only 1 wicket between early overs of all 3 new ball.Bad Zaheer who Leaked runs at 4.25/over in 2nd inning & taken only 1 wicket because of bad dicition. #change him with Bhuvi. He always use new ball batter than all others. Try him in atleast 1 away test. He just put out by 1 bad performene in 1st ODI.

  • Mekkayel on December 25, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    It is highly unlikely that Dale Steyn, Jacques Kallis & Hashim Amla will fail in back to back tests. It is also highly unlikely that Ishant Sharma will be able to repeat his feat in the last test in back to back matches, he has one of the worst averages for a bowler who has played more than 50 tests.whether they are good players off spin our not Indian batsmen are still likely to get troubled by Imran in the match

  • on December 25, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    @tahil moshe cohen: it was not 5.5 sessions. it was 4.5. and pitch on 5th day was dead like dodo. no spin. no movement. just funny bounce once in 100 balls. if batsman was lucky on those rare occasions, he could go on and on.Ab and Du P did. end.no bad bowling really by indians.

  • gibbs.175 on December 25, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Smith , Elgar. , Amla , KAllis ,FAF , AB. , Duminy ,AlViro , Philander. , Dale , Kyle . ...We don't need any other spinner in Durban ,Elgar ,Duminy are excellent spinner .......good luck

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on December 25, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Only and only Kyle Abbott to be played in final 11 .Rory is not a standard player for international level . And Elgar is another player who deserve permanent place in test cricket ( as a opener )..,,,. He can turn the bowl well I full over cotta in both form of cricket ( test and ODI ) good luck !

  • ZkAneela on December 25, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    @cricindia208...Dear i think u need rest bcoz india at number one spot is a dream now specially after their bowling performance in the last test.claiming no.1 spot in tests with this bowling is almost impossible.its test cricket not ODI where indians will bowl 50 overs and then win it,In tests they have to take 20 wickets which is impossible for india.

  • tanmaymore87 on December 25, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa & David Simon Lewisohn - Kyle Abbott ??? is he someone like Ambrose or Walsh or Donald or Wasim to run through Indian batting line-up...i did see him getting 7 wickets early this year against Pakistan but imagining him doing that against likes of Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Dhoni & Rahane would be great but don't think its going to happen...he will be thrashed just the number 1 bowler since 186 tests was thrashed...

  • aa61761 on December 25, 2013, 2:57 GMT

    South Africa should play with 4 frontline pacers, spinner will not do any thing againat India.

  • SurlyCynic on December 24, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    All I want for Christmas is no Kleinveldt in the team. Thanks Santa.

    Wish they would bring in someone genuinely quick like De Lange or Viljoen to replace Morkel, then bring in Abbott for Tahir. On SA wickets Duminy can do the spin bowling.

  • kc69 on December 24, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Its better to bring in abott instead of morkel and robbie for tahir team India shoul try bringing in Jadeja instead of Ashwin among whom jadeja is more and can bat as well.a lot will depend on conditions and toss.

  • alfredmynn on December 24, 2013, 21:42 GMT

    One would expect Indian fans to be one-eyed, but it's a little disappointing that SA supporters (all non-indians basically) have been just as mean-spirited. So here goes, from someone who's very far from being an Indian fan - India played magnificently. They had their foot on the opposition's throat for three days, and although the old concerns about bowling resurfaced, their batting did better than anyone would have imagined. They effectively neutralized the best bowler of this generation with some of the best technique seen in recent times, bringing back the art of sound defence, watching the ball, and leaving well in challenging conditions. On the strength of this performance, they should compete well in the next test. Best of luck to both teams.

  • on December 24, 2013, 20:54 GMT

    I do't think SA has any chance to win in Durban. Styen bowled without variations or maybe our batsman sorted him out by playing him in IPL and Morkel is out. Unless it rains there will be a result and it will be Dhoni and co who will be holding it..

  • on December 24, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Indian supporters seem really confident for Durban, after failing to bowl SA out in 5.5 sessions on a 5th day Wanderers pitch, I'm mot sure why. Same think happened in Adelaide last year after SA salvaged the draw. I think SA gonna take this next test and Steyn will play a big part.

  • daalien on December 24, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    I don't understand how this is a "must-win" match for the S.Africans but not for the Indians. Did the Indians win the first test? Was there an alternative ending version available?

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on December 24, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    Abott as the 'unseen one' factor may pan out any which way...Imran Tahir has to be let go in this match....he was not as good as ashwin...and ashwin for pure rubbish..

  • on December 24, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    This desperation to play Morkel is difficult to describe. It was a serious injury which needs time to heal. An ideal opportunity to test the bench who will be keen to impress. The Indian Team has been positive and will not be too concerned with this.

  • on December 24, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    kyle Abbott would make a huge difference to SA, wheather Morkel is injured or not. Far better than Kleinveld. Abbott is in form and at home and had an incredible debut. Play him SA and we'll clean India up.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on December 24, 2013, 19:47 GMT

    My SA Team for Durban:

    1. Smith 2.A.Petersen 3.Amla 4.Kallis 5.AB 6.Faff 7. D.Elgar 8.RPetersen 9.Vern 10.Abbott 11.Steyn

    With this team we have top line batsmen up to 7 and then 2 all-rounders in Petersen and Vern, making us bat to 9. Spinning in options with Petersen and Elgar. If Kleinveld is selected before Abbott I will have a heart-attack.

  • khansa06 on December 24, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    I do not think Pujara will be run out in the 2nd test too....so India win!

  • on December 24, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    Honestly whoever plays , it is not going to make any difference to this young , fearless Indian line up. They will anyways take the mickey out of the attack in the initial 20 odd overs. After that the shine will be gone so will be the fight from the SA attack, as it happened in the first test. Without shine even Dale Steyn became a rather up and down bowler in Durban. What to talk about the rest??

  • AvidCricFan on December 24, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    SA has problem of plenty. Any replacement bowler will likely be better than the front line Indian pace bowlers. That is the reality. SA should rest Tahir and bring in additional pacer.

  • CricIndia208 on December 24, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    India are going to win the test and series. We have proved that we are the best batting side in the world. India will reclaim the No.1 ranking within the next one year.

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    I think the Durban test will last only 3 days. Morkel is a must, if fit. Add Abbott for Tahir.

  • on December 24, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    Two changes, Pieterson in for Tahir and Abbott for Morkel. Unlikely Morkel would play, could be a big gamble. Whether they'll go for an all-pace attack would be something to ponder about.

  • on December 24, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    I think Kyle Abbott would be a bigger threat than Rory Kleinveldt. Abbott gets the ball to swing considerably and from what we have seen in the first test bounce serves only to reduce the scoring rate.

  • Protears on December 24, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    We have had issues with our home series test team balance, in the UAE we knew either Robbie P, Tahir and perhaps Duminy would feature on those conditions as more attacking options but at home we have struggled to get the fluidity that our traveling results bare.

    For Durban we have some issues of contention, The first is Morkel's replacement and have no doubt home boy Abbott will get the place over Kleinveldt, other areas is our spinners role, Tahir is going to get nothing out of SA conditions and can be expensive as a result, Robbie P is the safer option as a containing spinner and a good lower order batsmen. The other area of concern is Alviro and Duminy, Alviro might have saved himself but Duminy is a player ive waited forever on to display any test character and hasnt delivered, he lacks the mental application and character for Test cricket, Melbourne 2008 is a long time ago to be living on reputations long since ceased. Duminy needs urgent replacement.

  • PrasPunter on December 24, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Kleinveldt will be a poor choice - Play Abbott instead. The indians haven't seen him yet and an element of surprise is always a good one to have.

  • phoebe_tonkin on December 24, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    If Morkel misses out that will be a huge dent to SA's chances. Wish him all the best.

  • on December 24, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    SA could play both morkel and abott as Tahir was looking helpless against the indians

  • Biohazard7279 on December 24, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    I honestly have no idea why Kleinveldt is part of the Test Squad. There are several better bowlers like Abbott, De Lange, Tsotsobe, McLaren, Morris and Viljoen.

  • theCricketPurist on December 24, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    It is important that Morkel is not risked. Another breakdown mid test could spoil RSA chances in the series.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • theCricketPurist on December 24, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    It is important that Morkel is not risked. Another breakdown mid test could spoil RSA chances in the series.

  • Biohazard7279 on December 24, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    I honestly have no idea why Kleinveldt is part of the Test Squad. There are several better bowlers like Abbott, De Lange, Tsotsobe, McLaren, Morris and Viljoen.

  • on December 24, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    SA could play both morkel and abott as Tahir was looking helpless against the indians

  • phoebe_tonkin on December 24, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    If Morkel misses out that will be a huge dent to SA's chances. Wish him all the best.

  • PrasPunter on December 24, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    Kleinveldt will be a poor choice - Play Abbott instead. The indians haven't seen him yet and an element of surprise is always a good one to have.

  • Protears on December 24, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    We have had issues with our home series test team balance, in the UAE we knew either Robbie P, Tahir and perhaps Duminy would feature on those conditions as more attacking options but at home we have struggled to get the fluidity that our traveling results bare.

    For Durban we have some issues of contention, The first is Morkel's replacement and have no doubt home boy Abbott will get the place over Kleinveldt, other areas is our spinners role, Tahir is going to get nothing out of SA conditions and can be expensive as a result, Robbie P is the safer option as a containing spinner and a good lower order batsmen. The other area of concern is Alviro and Duminy, Alviro might have saved himself but Duminy is a player ive waited forever on to display any test character and hasnt delivered, he lacks the mental application and character for Test cricket, Melbourne 2008 is a long time ago to be living on reputations long since ceased. Duminy needs urgent replacement.

  • on December 24, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    I think Kyle Abbott would be a bigger threat than Rory Kleinveldt. Abbott gets the ball to swing considerably and from what we have seen in the first test bounce serves only to reduce the scoring rate.

  • on December 24, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    Two changes, Pieterson in for Tahir and Abbott for Morkel. Unlikely Morkel would play, could be a big gamble. Whether they'll go for an all-pace attack would be something to ponder about.

  • on December 24, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    I think the Durban test will last only 3 days. Morkel is a must, if fit. Add Abbott for Tahir.

  • CricIndia208 on December 24, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    India are going to win the test and series. We have proved that we are the best batting side in the world. India will reclaim the No.1 ranking within the next one year.