BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (Reuters) - A lengthy injury list in the bowling department poses a conundrum for South Africa as they decide on the line-up for the second test against Bangladesh starting on Friday, captain Faf du Plessis said.
Morne Morkel is the latest victim, ruled out for six weeks by a side strain suffered in the 333-run first test victory in Potchefstroom. He joins Chris Morris, Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn on the sidelines.
“We’re very unlucky in that we have four bowlers injured at the same time; we’ve never faced with a scenario like this. From a selection point of view you want to make sure the venom in your bowling attack is still the same,” Du Plessis told a news conference on Thursday.
“With Morne, KG (Kagiso Rabada), Dale and Vernon there is an expectation of what you are going to get, if you don’t have those guys you are not always sure.”
Rabada, 22, will probably open with Duanne Olivier and Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo or uncapped Dane Paterson, called up as Morkel’s replacement, will compete for the other two seamer slots.
“It’s important for us to look at how we can best balance the side but still have a strong bowling attack. With big players missing‚ especially against teams like Bangladesh‚ it’s important to see what your resources are,” Du Plessis said.
South Africa have ordered a green top for the test after a lifeless pitch in Potchefstroom in the first match.
“There is more grass on the wicket and I think it hasn’t been rolled as flat as it was in Potch. So there should be more pace and bounce,” the captain added.
“We want another dominant performance. If we are honest with ourselves, in conditions like this it is important that we do that against Bangladesh. Yes, on their day they can be dangerous but we need to keep pressure on them and restrict opportunities in the game where they can get on top of us,” Du Plessis added.
Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ed Osmond