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Bangalore Test: Philander ruled out of series, Steyn doubtful; Ishant likely to replace Umesh

Still unsure of strike bowler Dale Steyn's fitness, South Africa has received another jolt ahead of the second Test with pacer Vernon Philander being ruled out for rest of the series after injuring his left ankle

Bengaluru: South Africa on Thursday received a severe jolt ahead of the second Test against India with pacer Vernon Philander being ruled out for rest of the series after he suffered multiple ligament injuries in his left ankle.

"Phillander has undergone treatment at our hospital. He was treated for a multiple ligament injuries on his left ankle and has been plastered," Hosmat Medical Director Dr Ajit Benedict Royan told PTI here.

"Therefore he will be out of action from playing cricket for next six weeks. He may fly back to South Africa also," he added.

Indian team practices ahead of the Bangalore TestIndian cricketers during a practice session ahead of the 2nd Test against South Africa at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. Pic/PTI

Philander twisted his left ankle during a warm-up football game and was carried back by the support staff after he was seen writhing in pain.

"Vernon stepped on Dean's (Elgar) foot by accident in our warm-up. A very freakish accident... I have seen much worse before. He is very unlucky," he told reporters here.

"He (Vernon) limped off the field ... it might be bad ...," Villiers added.

With Philander declared unfit, Kyle Abbott, 28, will replace him in the squad.

Meanwhile, South African pace spearhead Dale Steyn will be appearing for a fitness test as the team management will like to ensure that he has recovered fully from the groin strain, which he sustained during the first Test.

When AB de Villiers was asked about status of Steyn's fitness, he didn't sound too optimistic.

"He's going to have a fitness test. So I'm not 100% sure. We are hoping for his return but we'll see how he goes today and tomorrow," De Villiers said.

If Steyn too is ruled out of the second Test then South Africa will be left with just two frontline quicks in their attack -- Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel.

South Africa are 0-1 down in the four-match Test series against India. The visitors lost the first Test by 108-run at
Mohali.

News from the Indian camp

Having served a one-Test suspension, India's pace spearhead Ishant Sharma is raring to have a go at the South African batting line-up and is all set to replace Umesh Yadav in the playing XI for the second Test, starting Saturday.

Ishant's inclusion in the playing XI was never in question but what one was curious as to whom he would replace in the starting line-up.

The Indian team's training session at the Chinnaswamy Stadium gave ample indication that Varun Aaron, who worked up good pace and also got a second innings wicket of Dean Elgar, would partner Ishant with the new ball.

Yadav, who played in the last Test match, was seen doing fielding drills for the better part of the session as both Ishant and Aaron bowled at the main nets.

Ishant, in fact, bowled for a considerable amount of time as he hurled the red cherry to almost all the top order batsmen including skipper Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Muali Vijay.

Despite being out of international cricket for a month-and-a-half, Ishant had been in good form as he got nine wickets in a Ranji game against Vidarbha and a couple against Haryana in the match where he sustained a hamstring injury.

Had he been fit, in all likelihood he would have played the last couple of ODIs.

Aaron was also seen bowling at the main nets while Yadav along with KL Rahul were seen taking catches. Yadav did bowl later but it was to the lower order batsmen, which was an indication that he might find it difficult to make it to the playing XI.

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