Bangalore - South Africa are counting on Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel to make up
for injured new-ball bowlers Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander against
India in the second Test starting on Saturday.
Steyn was ruled out
on Friday with a groin injury sustained during the opening Test at
Mohali, where India won by 108 runs. Philander will miss the rest of the
series after tearing left ankle ligaments in a freak accident while
playing football in training.
Abbott, who hasn't played a Test in
11 months, has joined the team, while Morkel has recovered from a leg
injury sustained during the preceding one-day international series.
Dale, one of the best bowlers in the world, and Philander, arguably the
best all-rounder in the world, certainly changes the dynamics of the
team," Amla said on Friday.
"But the guys who will replace them are
quality cricketers. We are fortunate to have great depth in our side."
said Abbott, who was part of the side for the limited-overs leg of the
tour, was the right man to replace Philander since he could use the
"Kyle has been one of our outstanding reserve
bowlers in the last couple of years," he said.
"He is similar to Vernon,
in the sense that he is consistent in where he lands the ball, and you
know what you will get."
Amla said that though his team would like
it if the ball does swing, as is expected in the overcast conditions
seen here over the past few days, one could not underestimate the India
"I'll have a look at the pitch tomorrow but with the
conditions and moisture around, it does not seem like the (usual dry)
Mohali pitch," he said.
"But they have some good pace bowlers, too, and
let's not rule them out."
Meanwhile, India was boosted by the
return of experienced pace bowler Ishant Sharma, who missed the opening Test due to a one-match ban imposed for bad behavior on a tour of Sri
"He has bowled well in sub-continent conditions, knows how
to reverse swing the ball, can lead the pace attack," India captain
Virat Kohli said.
"I would rather have a guy who will give me control at
an important time in the game rather than someone who will just get the
overs out of the way."
India spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and
Ravindra Jadeja grabbed eight wickets each at Mohali, with legspinner
Amit Mishra also bowling well. But Kohli felt pace bowlers would have a
big role during the remainder of the four-Test series.
important for the three guys bowling the most of the overs to have two
guys after them who can also maintain the same momentum, and control the
run-rate as well. The combination can or will change according to the
conditions," he said.
Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron were the pace bowlers at Mohali.
added uncapped all-rounder Gurkeerat Singh Mann, more of a limited-overs
player handy with his offspin bowling. But he is considered mainly as a
reserve, as a few others may be relieved during the Test to play in