Men's ODI WC: Nortje, Magala to undergo fitness test for determining tournament availability

Johannesburg, Sep 18 (IANS) Fast bowling duo Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala are set to undergo fitness tests this week to determine their availability for South Africa’s campaign in the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup.

Both Nortje and Magala were named in South Africa’s initial 15-member squad for the mega event, but since then, they played just one match each in South Africa’s recent 3-2 ODI series win over Australia.

While Nortje has a lower-back injury, Magala is down with a left-knee injury. As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, a final call on their inclusion will be taken before South Africa leave for India on September 23, with early indications saying both at risk of not making the trip for the ODI World Cup.

“We are continually taking stock as to where both of those players are. The fact that they weren’t playing today with a week to go before we board the plane for the World Cup is obviously a cause for concern.”

“We would have wanted them out there. There are complications around taking players that are injured into a World Cup because then you have to provide a medical reason to be swapped out,” said head coach Rob Walter.

If either of Nortje or Magala miss out on the ODI World Cup, South Africa are most likely to include pace all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, who made 38 runs off 19 balls in the final ODI of the series against Australia.

“Andile is one of a couple of guys who are part of a broader squad and today he showed us, especially with the bat, what we have seen in terms of his capability. That knock, you can look at it, and say it was match influencing.

“A total of 270 looks different to a total of 315 and he was a massive role-player in that. He took an important wicket with the ball as well. I am very happy that Andile was able to deliver that performance in the match,” added Walter.



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