Depleted South Africa call fast bowler de Lange for last 2 Tests


South Africa have called up fast bowler Marchant de Lange to bolster the bowling reserves for the last two Freedom Series Test matches against India in Nagpur and Delhi.

Dale Steyn continues to make progress from a groin injury, but remains a doubtful starter for the third Test match, starting in Nagpur on November 25, said a Cricket South Africa statement.

de Lange was part of the South African T20 squad that beat India 2-0 in the first leg of the tour, and has played two Tests, the last being against New Zealand in Wellington in 2012.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo explained the decision to call de Lange.

“At the moment we only have three fit seamers in Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott, so with Dale still struggling with a groin injury we decided to bring Marchant in as cover so we are prepared in case one of the three breaks down,” Domingo said.

“Marchant’s biggest strength is pace, if the ball does start to reverse-swing his pace through the air brings him into the contest. Even though his performances back home have been a bit inconsistent, we do know that as an impact player he is a guy that can turn the game with a good spell. Guys that can bowl at 150 km per hour will always be good value.”

The Proteas have had a few days to assess and dissect their shortcomings and travel to Nagpur on Saturday with the determination and belief of making a comeback in the series, said the statement.

Domingo says the side will take some confidence from the performances past teams have achieved at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, but will need a significant improvement in all disciplines to continue with the Proteas’ winning streak at the venue.

“We’ve done it before,” Domingo said of winning from behind. “We know that we are still in the contest with two matches to play, the wickets are definitely going to produce results. We are 1-0 down so we have every chance of turning it around in Nagpur.”

The coach further said, “We are aware that we have to play better cricket with bat and with ball, but we are hopeful that we can rectify that. We have a lot of inexperienced players who haven’t played in India before so hopefully they will have learnt a lot of lessons from these first two matches.

“ I wasn’t there on that tour but I remember South Africa being 6/2 and Kallis getting 160 and Amla getting 250 to give the team a comfortable win in the backend,” he said.  “The side in general has good memories from the particular venue. We are going to have to play well, India are playing good cricket at the moment.”

India won the first Test in Mohali while second one in Bangalore was washed out by rains.