The road to the 2023 ODI World Cup just got much tougher for South Africa as two of their key fast bowlers, Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala, have been ruled out due to injuries. This unexpected setback has forced the Proteas to make last-minute changes to their 15-man squad.
In a cruel twist, injuries hit South Africa’s pace arsenal hard. Anrich Nortje, known for his express pace, has been sidelined due to a suspected back stress fracture. This ailment surfaced after Nortje experienced back spasms during the second ODI against Australia earlier this month. On the other hand, Sisanda Magala, featured briefly in the third ODI against Australia, has been plagued by a left knee injury.
South Africa’s head coach, Rob Walter, expressed his disappointment over Nortje and Magala missing out on the World Cup opportunity. He conveyed the team’s sympathy for their omission and assured them that the necessary support would be extended to help them recover and return to competitive cricket.
South Africa’s coach, Rob Walter, said, “It’s hugely disappointing for Anrich and Sisanda to miss the 50-over World Cup. We sympathize with their omission and will continue to provide all the necessary support as they work towards their return to competitive action. This provides an opportunity for Andile and Lizaad on the global stage. Both players have been part of our winter programs and represented South Africa in the recent white-ball tour against Australia. They offer great skill sets, and we’re excited to have them complete the 15-player squad for this year’s World Cup.”
The injuries to Nortje and Magala have opened the door for two talented replacements, Andile Phehlukwayo, and Lizaad Williams, to step onto the global stage. Both players have been part of South Africa’s winter programs and have recently represented the country in the white-ball series against Australia. The Proteas’ coaching staff is excited about the skill sets they bring to the table and believes they can significantly impact the World Cup.
Andile Phehlukwayo, who featured in the second and fifth ODIs against Australia, showcased his capabilities by finishing the innings strongly in the series finale with a brisk 38 off 19 balls. He also contributed with the ball, taking 1 for 44. Lizaad Williams, who played three of the five matches, exhibited his bowling prowess by claiming 3 for 44, 1 for 17, and 0 for 24.
South Africa is scheduled to depart for India on September 23, where they will play warm-up matches against Afghanistan on September 29 and New Zealand on October 2. Their first World Cup game is set to take place on October 7 against Sri Lanka. Despite the setbacks, the Proteas remain determined to show strength in the tournament.
South Africa’s ODI World Cup squad
Temba Bavuma (capt), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock (wk), Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lizaad Williams