TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
SA’S chances of beating Australia in their one-day series – and moving up to second place in the rankings – took a knock on Friday when allrounder Chris Morris was ruled out with a knee injury.
Morris will also miss the three test SA will play in Australia in November.
“Chris has been carrying a chronic left knee patella tendon injury for the last eight months which we have treated and managed up to this point,” SA team manager Mohammed Moosajee was quoted as saying in a Cricket SA release.
“The injury has flared up considerably over the last two weeks leaving us with no option but rest and rehabilitation to allow the knee time to fully recover.”
Uncapped Dwaine Pretorius, who is part of the squad to play Ireland in an ODI in Benoni on Sunday, has been added for the rubber against the Australians.
It’s not the first time Morris has helped advance Pretorius’ career.
Lions coach Geoff Toyana has acknowledged that Morris’ decision to leave the franchise before last season gave Pretorius a gap.
“If Chris had stayed I don’t think Dwaine would have played,” Toyana said.
Morris has played in 15 of SA’s 73 ODIs since he made his debut in a Champions Trophy match against Pakistan at Edgbaston in June 2013.
He has been a supporting rather than star member of the cast, taking 16 wickets at 38.92 and scoring 152 runs – among them a stunning 62 off 38 balls against England at the Wanderers in February that took SA from the brink of defeat to a one-wicket victory.
Pretorius is cut from similar cloth, having taken 48 wickets at 24.56 and scored six half-centuries in his 39 list A games.
Untried though Pretorius is at international level, SA will need all the depth they can find to beat the No. 1 ranked Aussies 4-1 – a series scoreline that would catapult the home side, who are currently ranked fourth, to second.