Fast bowler Morne Morkel has all but confirmed South Africa’s XI for the third and final ODI against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton will feature several changes.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir will be unavailable due to a shoulder injury sustained in the second fixture, which the Proteas won comfortably to take an unassailable two-nil series lead, while fast bowler Kyle Abbott and all-rounders Wayne Parnell and Ryan McLaren will likely be recalled.
‘It is very important for us, that whenever we put on a Proteas shirt we go out and do well. For us, taking our foot off the pedal and losing is not an option. We might see a couple of changes in the team, but the players coming in will be hungry to go out and end the tour well for us,’ said Morkel.
The tourists have gone largely unchallenged by a Black Caps unit depleted by the absence of batsmen Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, who are nursing respective wrist and calf injuries. The lanky Morkel pivotal in extracting bounce and carry from an otherwise sluggish Bay Oval pitch in Mount Maunganui. Conditions in Hamilton, however, should prove quicker.
‘I am happy. Before that I was struggling with my shoulder and I was out of the game from a bowling point of view for five weeks. When I arrived here it was my first outdoor bowl and we know the story, you can bowl as much as you want in the nets but game time and pressure in the middle is a different story. I was a bit rusty in the initial overs finding my feet but as the game went on, especially in the second one-dayer, I came right, I’m happy with the progress,’ he added.
‘With all due respect to the 11 that have been playing, they are all quality players. They have missed two key players – Kane and Ross are serious players. If you take two senior players from our team that sort of experience is tough to make up. We have played well and we have the momentum.’
Spinning all-rounder Robin Peterson, meanwhile, has replaced slow left-arm bowler Aaron Phanigso ahead of next month’s tour of Australia. Phangiso sprained a finger recently – and won’t be fit to compete in the three Twenty20 Internationals and five ODIs.