Re: 1st ODI - South Africa v Australia
Despite their moral-boosting Twenty20 success on Friday night, South Africa still have problems heading into the first one-day international against Australia, at Centurion Park, on Sunday. Their bowling attack, which was stretched to breaking point on the tour of Australia, continues to be hampered by injuries.
The most serious problem is with Shaun Pollock, who played the Twenty20 match purely as a batsman, and requires keyhole surgery on a right knee ligament injury. He will play the first ODI but Mickey Arthur, South Africa's coach, is aware that it is a risk.
"It's a dilemma. Do we take him out of the rest of the one-day series to make sure he is fit for the six Test matches we have coming up, or do we keep playing him and hope he doesn't break down?"
South Africa are really been forced into playing Pollock with Makhaya Ntini and Andre Nel still recovering from their injuries. Ntini made his comeback in the Twenty20, after picking up a knee injury in the Boxing Day Test, but was dispatched for 44 runs in three overs and was some way short of his best.
Nel, who returned to South Africa after the Tests in Australia in early January, was only due to play his first match of the one-day series in Cape Town, next Friday, but came through a net practice well and will be considered for the opening match
South Africa have also drafted Roger Telemachus into the squad after Charl Langeveldt was ruled out with a broken index finger. He is due to undergo surgery in Cape Town early next week and aims to be fit for the Test series, which starts on March 16.
Australia will again be without Andrew Symonds, who has been ruled out with the hip injury that caused him to miss the Twenty20. The Australian physio, Errol Alcott said: "Andrew is improving steadily. He had a run around at training today but we will err on the side of caution and rule him out of tomorrow's match." Alcott is confident Symonds will be fit for the second match on Friday.
Stuart Clark is also unavailable after experiencing increasing discomfort to the rib area and he underwent a minor procedure today. However, Michael Hussey, who only arrived in South Africa on Friday after staying in Australia for the birth of his second child, is set to return to the side.
"I'm still relatively new in the team so I don't want to miss any games," said Hussey. "You can never feel secure about your place." Hussey said the Australians expected a tough series against opponents who are still ranked second despite failing to reach the final of a triangular series in Australia. "We saw in Australia that South Africa are a very disciplined, committed team."
Australian captain Ricky Ponting was confident his team could bounce back after their two-run defeat in the Twenty20. "We'll be able to put a stronger team on the ground and we can hopefully get back to playing the way we have been over the past few weeks. If we do, we'll be very hard to beat."
South Africa (from) Graeme Smith (capt), Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher (wk), Justin Kemp, Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Robin Peterson, Johan van der Wath, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Roger Telemachus.
Australia (from) Ricky Ponting (capt), Adam Gilchrist (wk), Simon Katich, Damien Martyn, Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Mitchell Johnson, Mick Lewis.