The Proteas will enter today’s ODI series decider against Pakistan without five of their stars, who have jetted off to India for the IPL.
Fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi will all be missing in action at Centurion Park at 10am, while wicketkeeper and opening batsman Quinton de Kock and big-hitting middle order star David Miller have joined them to take part in the T20 festival.
It leaves the national team thin on options – especially in the bowling category.
Bowling coach Charl Langeveldt remains upbeat, though, saying: “It’s a massive loss. In saying that, it is also an opportunity for guys that are on the fringes to step up.
“With the 2023 World Cup in mind, we want to see if big names get injured that we’ve got someone who can step up. It’s a good opportunity for them to step up and perform.”
Dolphins speedster Daryn Dupavillon, 26, is expected to take over from Anrich Nortje, who Langeveldt described as their best bowler in the series to date, in the enforcer role, while Lutho Sipamla will in all likelihood also come in.
The coach hints that they might opt for a second spinner to help Tabraiz Shamsi, while Heinrich Klaasen will have to fend off Kyle Verreynne for Quinton de Kock’s wicketkeeper gloves.
Verreynne’s Cape Cobras teammate Janneman Malan is also a shoo-in to come in at the top of the batting order.
Pakistan won the first ODI by three wickets, before the Proteas levelled the series with a 17-run win on Sunday.