The selectors have put a player on standby to take Aaron Phangiso’s place in the World T20 squad in case the spinner fails to rectify his bowling action in time.
Phangiso’s bowling action was confirmed to be illegal by Cricket South Africa on Tuesday. He was reported for a suspected illegal bowling action by the match officials in last week’s One-Day Cup play-off match between the Highveld Lions and the Warriors.
He will miss the first two T20 internationals against Australia on Friday and Sunday but will remain with the squad and will work alongside spin bowling coach Claude Henderson, who will be joined by CSA’s High Performance Manager, Vinnie Barnes, in an effort to remedy his action.
Phangiso will undergo a second round of independent tests next Monday which will then determine whether he is available for selection for the last T20 against Australia and whether he travels with the Proteas T20 squad to India for the World T20.
‘Linda Zondi will probably announce a suitable candidate in the next couple of days, should Phangiso not be able to go to the World Cup,’ coach Russell Domingo said.
‘We have put somebody on standby should he not be allowed to go to the World Cup because of his action. We are going to work with Phangiso over the next couple of days, we’ve got five or six sessions before he gets retested on Monday in Pretoria. Hopefully we’ll get a good report and he’ll be able join us on Thursday when we leave.’
Phangiso has been the back-up to first-choice spinner Imran Tahir but the selectors might decide to replace him with a seamer or another all-rounder.
Morne Morkel was left out of the initial squad while all-rounder Albie Morkel was also overlooked. Eddie Leie is another spin option, but he suffered a hamstring injury in the One-Day Cup with the Lions so it is unclear whether he is available for selection.
Dale Steyn is due to make his comeback against Australia after taking part in a club game on Saturday for Western Province Cricket Club, where he took 5-13.
‘We’ve got an idea of what our best combination will be, but I’m very keen to give everyone a game during this series because we want guys getting to the World Cup having played some sort of cricket,’ Domingo said.
‘Dale is desperate to play and to do well. I definitely want him to play at least two of them. We still got two warm-up games in India. One is a day after we arrive in India against India so that’s going to be hard. He needs to play some cricket at international level because there’s a big difference playing club cricket and international cricket, so I’m pretty sure he’ll play at least two of these three games.’