South Africa have been dealt another injury blow as the Test series with Australia looms, with Quinton de Kock ruled out for up to four weeks due to a bruised wrist. AB de Villiers was ruled out before the first ODI, Faf du Plessis before the second (both suffered finger injuries).
Heinrich Klaasen, the only other specialist wicketkeeper in the squad, is nearly certain to make his ODI debut in Cape Town. "Further investigation revealed severe bony bruising to the area, with associated swelling around the tendon in the wrist", Proteas team manager and doctor Mohammed Moosajee explained.
Seven months after a stupendous show in the World Cup, the Indian women's team shook off rustiness easily with a crushing 88-run win in the series-opener here on Tuesday.
Opener Smriti Mandhana's superb fifty and the pace duo of Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey combining for seven wickets, guided the Indian women's team to a 88-run win over South Africa in the first of the three-match ODI rubber here February 5.
Ayabonga Khaka (2-47) provided the initial breakthrough for South Africa when she had Raut caught but Mandhana and Mithali Raj (45) struck together for a decisive 99 run stand for the second wicket, Mandhana went on to complete a quickfire half-century as India were placed comfortably at 154 for one in the 36th over.
Consistency will give them a boost in what is surely a match of historic significance, albeit a small one, as India have never before won three matches in an ODI bilateral series on the South African soil.
Stand-in captain Aiden Markram and batting coach Dale Benkenstein have openly said that understanding Kuldeep and Chahal will take time as they bring in an element of newness.
Quinton de Kock's absence means Heinrich Klaasen is set to make his debut.
In a way, this could be a blessing in disguise for the hosts.
Overall, the best partnership for South Africa has only been 76 for the sixth wicket between Du Plessis and Chris Morris at Kingsmead. He has not crossed fifty once in eight innings across all formats. De Kock's current mindset certainly came under scrutiny after the first ODI at Kingsmead when he walked off without reviewing an lbw decision off Chahal.