Bangalore: South Africa suffered a crushing double blow ahead of today's second Test against India as both pace spearheads Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander were ruled out with injuries.
Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn
Philander twisted his left ankle during practice in Bangalore on Thursday and will miss the rest of the four-Test series as MRI scans showed he may be out of action for up to eight weeks.
Yesterday, South African skipper Hashim Amla confirmed that Steyn had not recovered from a groin strain he suffered during the first Test in Mohali last week. "Both Dale (Steyn) and Philander are ruled out of this match," Amla told reporters as the tourists prepared to bid for a series-levelling win.
"Obviously, losing Dale — one of the best bowlers in the world — and Philander — one of the best all-rounders in the world — certainly changes the dynamics of the team.
'A potent bowling attack'
"But the guys who will replace them are quality cricketers. We are fortunate to have great depth in our side, especially in the bowling. We still have a potent bowling attack to back it up." The tourists, the world's top-ranked Test side, crashed to a 108-run defeat inside three days in the first match in Mohali as they found Indian spinners unplayable on the dry, dusty pitch.
The Proteas flew in seamer Kyle Abbott to replace Philander and fast bowler Morne Morkel will also be available after missing the Mohali Test due to a leg injury.