A couple of years ago, Kyle Abbott, Hardus Viljoen and Marchant de Lange – and more recently Duanne Olivier – led the fast bowlers among South Africa’s Test bowling bench strength.
Olivier’s exit earlier this week leaves the Proteas missing a rung in an hierarchical ladder that has Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi at the top.
If not a recall for Andile Phehlukwayo or Chris Morris, who might the selectors look to next to fill the void left by Olivier in the Test squad ?
- Dane Paterson was added to the Test squad for late last year’s series opener against Pakistan as injury cover for Philander, but ultimately wasn’t picked for the XI.
- The recipient of 16 ODIs and two T20Is, Dwaine Pretorius is a popular feature in the limited-overs XI, but still awaiting graduation to Test cricket.
- A recent returnee from injury, Anrich Nortje will play limited-overs competition against Sri Lanka next month – and might be positioned for even greater heights.
- Sisanda Magala’s talent sprung to the fore again with a telling five-wicket haul in the One-Day Cup for the Warriors against the Dolphins.
- Like Nortje, Lutho Sipamla is the benefactor of a superb showing in the inaugural Mzansi Super League. At just 20 years old, he has already impressed in two T20Is.
- Left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks would offer a different dynamic to an attack lined with right-armers, but probably lacks enough pace to truly contend.
- Eathan Bosch has performed consistently well for the Dolphins, with bat and ball, this season – and might eventually be the right fit at eight in the order.
- Junior Dala’s first-class record doesn’t read wonderfully, but experienced gained across two ODIs and eight T20Is could count, come Test consideration.