South Africa host India in the second match of the two-Test match series in Durban.
The astonishing drawn first Test of the truncated two match series between the ICC’s two top rated Test playing sides, just helps to illustrate what the BCCI has denied the world of cricket, by their petty interfering in the organisation of tours, as scheduled in the FTP.
That first Test, which many have described as the finest drawn Test match of all time, should have set the tone for a full five match Test series, instead of which, the two sides now head for Durban for the second and final match of the series.
South Africa have added fast bowler Kyle Abbott to their squad for the Boxing Day Test as cover for Morne Morkel, who sprained an ankle during the first Test, and whose fitness for Durban is in severe doubt.
Abbott earns his call up on the back of some impressive performances in domestic cricket recently, and claimed a five-for when his side the Dolphins defeated the Lions.
He made his Test debut in February this year against Pakistan at Centurion, and returned 7 for 29 in the first innings, and finished with nine wickets in the match.
However, such is the strength of South African fast bowling at present, that he hasn’t played for his country since, with Rory Kleinveldt getting the nod as the back up quickie on occasions since then. However, it appears likely that if Morkel is unfit, then Abbott will get the selectors vote ahead of Kleinveldt in Durban.
Morkel injured his ankle while field at the Wanderers, on the third day, and there was no doubt that the home side missed his bowling. He had to be helped from the field, where he was sent straight to hospital, and had it confirmed that the injury was a Grade 1 sprain.
As the match drew to its fascinating climax, Morkel was ready to bat if necessary, despite what would have been limited mobility, and an almost non-existent ability to run between the wickets.
South Africa should start favourites here.