South Africa’s injury problems are intensifying as they approach the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, with two seasoned players ruled out of the fourth ODI against Australia in Centurion.
Anrich Nortje’s back injury, which sidelined him for the third match of the series, has not healed in time, and the frontline fast bowler will be absent for the final two matches against Australia.
This setback is exacerbated by the news that the in-form captain, Temba Bavuma, will also miss the penultimate game of the five-match series due to a right adductor strain.
While Nortje’s condition is not ideal for South Africa, who are just weeks away from their World Cup opener against Sri Lanka in Delhi on October 7, the Proteas anticipate that the tall paceman will resume bowling over the weekend.
Cricket South Africa issued a statement, saying, “Proteas fast bowler Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the remaining two matches of the One-Day International (ODI) series against Australia due to a lower back injury.”
“The 29-year-old underwent scans and consulted with a specialist this week and will start bowling again this weekend under the supervision of the Proteas medical team. A further update will be provided in due course.”
Bavuma’s absence from the fourth ODI is seen as less severe, with South Africa revealing that his injury is minor.
“ODI captain Temba Bavuma is unavailable for selection for the fourth ODI at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Friday,” the statement continued.
“Bavuma has a right adductor strain and, as a precautionary measure, he has been ruled out of the match.”
In Bavuma’s absence, Aiden Markram will lead South Africa in the fourth ODI.