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Injured Anrich Nortje out of Test series against India

Pacer has not bowled since the T20 World Cup due to a hip issue; no replacement called up

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
A "persistent" hip injury has cost Anrich Nortje and South Africa  •  Christiaan Kotze/AFP via Getty

A "persistent" hip injury has cost Anrich Nortje and South Africa  •  Christiaan Kotze/AFP via Getty

Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of South Africa's upcoming three-Test series against India due to a "persistent" hip injury. Nortje has not bowled since the Men's T20 World Cup in November, and is still struggling with the niggle and does not have sufficient bowling loads under his belt to be cleared to play. CSA's chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra told ESPNcricinfo that Nortje is undergoing rehabilitation and is aiming to be ready for the ODIs against India in mid-January.
Nortje's absence is a massive blow to South Africa - he is their leading bowler in Tests this year. Nortje has taken 25 wickets from five Tests at 20.76, six ahead of his nearest team-mate, Keshav Maharaj.
No replacement will be called up to the squad, which includes seven other seamers. The door is now open for Duanne Olivier to make a comeback after his return from the Kolpak system, which ended with Britain's exit from the European Union. Olivier is the leading wicket-taker in the domestic first-class competition with 28 wickets at 11.14.
Olivier is likely to bowl alongside Kagiso Rabada and one of Lungi Ngidi, who has not played competitively in five months, uncapped left-armer Marco Jansen. Other options include Beuran Hendricks, who has one Test to his name, and Glenton Stuurman and Sisanda Magala, both of whom are uncapped.
South Africa's squad has begun its final preparations for the series that starts on Boxing Day, and so far has come through all Covid-19 tests successfully.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent