South Africa will be without the services of Morne Morkel for the ODI series decider against India in Mumbai on Sunday.
Hashim Amla all but confirmed at a pre-match press conference on Saturday that Morkel won’t feature in the fifth ODI after injuring his quad in the third game of the series.
It is a huge blow for the visitors as they try to win a one-day series against India in India for the first time. The selectors opted to replace Morkel with spinner Aaron Phangiso for the previous game, but that decision didn’t come off and it will be a surprise if the same team plays the final game.
‘I don’t think Morne is fit enough to play on Sunday,’ Amla said. ‘He bowled a bit in the nets and we’ll probably make a final call tomorrow, but I don’t think he’ll be fit.’
South Africa are also missing the injured JP Duminy, a loss which has disturbed the balance of the side.
‘JP has been an unbelievably consistent performer for us over the last couple of years,’ Amla said. ‘He adds great balance to our team with his off-spin, so it has changed things a bit for the team, but that’s what you have a squad for.
‘No big series is only won by 11 players, you usually have about 15 players who are going to contribute at different times and this is one of those times for us.’
Amla himself has not been in the greatest form on this tour and there has been an over-reliance on the likes of AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis to score the bulk of the runs.
‘Obviously I would have liked to score more runs, but you can’t score runs all the time. It would be great if I can get some runs on Sunday. As a batter you always try and contribute to a winning team. Hopefully my time will come.’