South Africa were dealt a severe blow on Friday as Morne Morkel, their premier fast bowler, was ruled out of the ongoing first Test against India after suffering a Grade I ligament tear on his ankle on Day 3.
The injury makes his participation in the second Test in Durban, starting December 26, doubtful.
As per the information received, Morkel is advised rest for at least 10 days, which effectively rules him out of the next Test too.
He was easily the best of South Africa’s pace trio, taking three for 34 in 23 overs, in India’s first innings.
He sustained the injury following the second delivery of the 14th over of India’s second innings, when Pujara tucked Dale Steyn towards fine leg for a couple.
As he sprinted to the boundary line to cut off the runs, he twisted his ankle. Though the hefty fast bowler returned the ball to the keeper, he collapsed to the ground and cried for help.
He needed assistance from his teammates and support staff to walk off the ground.
Image: Morne Morkel of South Africa gets carried off after an ankle injury
Photograph: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images