A delay in getting the result of his Covid-19 tests has ruled Anrich Nortje out of the Delhi Capitals' IPL 2021 game against the Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai. Nortje remains in hotel quarantine for the time being. *His South African fast-bowling partner Kagiso Rabada, though, has joined the team following his negative test result, and is available for selection.
One reason behind the delay with Nortje's test result is understood to be the fresh lockdown imposed by the Maharashtra government this week, which has affected logistics.
Both Rabada and Nortje checked into the Capitals' team hotel in Mumbai on April 6, having flown business class in a commercial flight to India from South Africa immediately after the second ODI of the home series against Pakistan. Their quarantine period, for one week in accordance with IPL guidelines, was meant to end on April 13, but for now Nortje is still confined to his room.
The latest update will have come as a significant blow for the Capitals, who would in all likelihood have wanted to field both Nortje and Rabada in their XI against the Royals. David Miller, who represents the Royals, was on the same flight as the two quicks, and the Royals confirmed on Wednesday that Miller was available for selection, which should help them, as they are still without Jofra Archer, and have lost Ben Stokes to a broken finger.
Rabada was the highest wicket-taker in the IPL last year, with 30 strikes in 17 games. And although he has played only one season of the IPL - in 2020 - Nortje became a key member of the Capitals line-up after picking up 22 wickets in 16 matches, the fourth-highest in the tournament. His express pace gave a cutting edge to their bowling attack and his partnership with Rabada was one of the biggest reasons they were able to make the final of the IPL for the first time.
* 1520 GMT The story was updated to reflect the latest news on Rabada's availability
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo