South Africa v Pakistan, 4th ODI, Durban March 21, 2013

Injured Smith unlikely for Benoni decider

ESPNcricinfo staff

Graeme Smith is unlikely to play a part in the fifth and final ODI against Pakistan in Benoni on Sunday due a recurrence of an ankle injury during South Africa's defeat in the fourth ODI in Durban. Smith was unable to field for a majority of Pakistan's innings due to the injury.

"Graeme's chronic left ankle problem has surfaced again during this ODI series," Dr Mohammed Moosajee, South Africa's team manager, said. "We have been trying to manage him but unfortunately the impingement syndrome slowed him down today and he is quite symptomatic.

"As things stand, he is unlikely to play in the last ODI but we will make a final decision tomorrow (Friday). He has had surgery on this ankle a while ago and I think the load and the volume of cricket for the year, and particularly during this ODI series, has troubled him."

Smith was bowled by Junaid Khan for 12 in Pakistan's three-wicket win that levelled the series 2-2.

The selectors will decide on Friday, whether or not to name a replacement.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sam on March 23, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    @quitthewhinging I think the biggest problem is that there are not enough good enough ODI bowlers in the team. Nobody can bowl accurate yorkers or even six balls accurately. Neither are there any really probing spinners. Also there is too much inexperience in the lower middle order (5,6,7) in batting. End result: only an average team. From 1995 to about 2000 S.Africa were the best ODI Team in the world. Even in the mid-2000s they were quite strong (no where near Australia but still strong), but now they are pretty average.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    this is a gud oppurtunity for youngster quinton de cock,who is a decent batsman n keeper. I think captain ABD shud not keep wickets for the final odi.

  • Ahnaf on March 22, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    I agree with quittthewhinging. Steyn, Philander & Morkel must be S.Africa's frontline bowlers in the ODI's because they're the best, not the tsotsobe's or kleinveldt's. Also, yes robbie p is doing well overall, but he's not a very commanding spinner and I feel phangiso is better than him (though the WC 2015 will be played in Aus/NZ, so Peterson may survive as pitches are not spin friendly). I also think the likes of Ingram, Behardien & Miller are not the future. Duminy must come back as quickly as he can and SA must blood De Kock so that he can relieve AB from the keeping duties and give him more freedom. As for new youngsters, I feel van Zyl and van Jaarsveld will be a better choice than the current crop of new players.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    Respect for this Great Cricketer.

  • Murta on March 22, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    I think SA need to look ahead to the 2015 WC. Their bowling except for Steyn will go for many runs unless Philander is brought back in. M Morkel is probably in the same league as McLaren, Kleinveldt, Abbott etc. SA need a quality spinner in their ranks as well. Kallis and Smith no doubt are class acts but if SA are to win the WC in 2015 they must be ruthless and only select people who merit their selection. Kallis, i think still does but Smith is just too overweight for the problems he has with his ankles etc, needs to do some massive shedding. All in all, in AB, Amla, Faf, De Kock, Miller and Ingram SA have a good batting nucleus and one that can almost be like Real Madrid once were...with the 'we will outscore you mentality' doesn't matter if you make 325 we will make 326. Come on Pakistan on Sunday!!

  • Ivan on March 22, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    @ THE_MIZ. Fair points. I suppose the selectors have made their bed re AB, so now they must sleep in it. But his flip-flopping re the WK role, doesn't inspire confidence. I don't agree regarding the new batsmen. We don't know whether the replacements I mentioned "are certain" to do better but we won't know until they are given a chance. One good innings in 4 or 5 from the others is not very encouraging. And poor old Vernon! If his selection depends on the Cobra's selectors, he has my sympathy. Let's remember who they choose as their captain - Justin Ontong. If Kallis & Duminy can be reintroduced it would make a huge difference, especially to the balance of the attack.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    To all those calling for some for some of the SA stalwarts (think Kallis & Smith) to retire: Do you not think they deserve to have one last crack at the ICC silverware nut. I think they do; they have been great servants for SA cricket.

    Kallis is still in impressive form, and Smith has done well for us as an opener. It is unreasonable to expect your openers to succeed every match. How many openers in international cricket are averaging around 50?

    I agree, give the exceptional talent of de Kock a go first up. He certainly deserves his call up, and I wish him all the success he gets. But we must trust our talent, and not call for heads to be chopped on every failure.

    Smith still has plenty of cricket in him, and his on-field presence should not be discounted.

    I will be a happy chap when Smith and Kallis hold that ICC WC trophy come 2015!

  • Muzammil on March 22, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    @quittthewhinging, mate you've hit the nail on the head with regards to the captaincy. Both AB & Faf have struggled. Though I'd say that AB is the better option. He is a senior member, virtually assured of his place in the team. Faf has been unconvincing in ODIs. He would struggle to hold his place so why give him the captaincy? The same for smith. Will he play in the next WC? I don't think so. It would be a step backward to re-elect him. Let's give AB a long run (not as WK!) With regards to the youngsters, each of the three played one good innings (Behardien played two) in the series which is encouraging. It's not certain that others will do better. Morkel would've played, but apparently was too stiff yesterday morning. Philander needs to make the Cobras limited overs side to be considered IMO.

  • Deepak on March 22, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    This is a good opportunity to get some new blood in the team and i say Rilee rossouw is a good candidate...