Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has confirmed that batsman Hashim Amla will miss South Africa’s limited-overs tour to Australia later this month due to a finger injury.
Amla picked up the injury playing in the Caribbean Premier League last month and was not considered for the recent ODI and T20I series at home against Zimbabwe.
The 35-year-old was expected to be fit for the three ODIs and one-off T20I in Australia but Gibson said on Sunday that it was decided to give Amla more time to recover.
The Proteas coach told reporters: “Hashim is injured and out of that (Australia ) tour, we’ve discussed that with him already.
“We’re going to give him as much time as we can to get him ready for the next cricket that he has coming up, so he’s not going to be considered.”
Amla’s injury will give another opportunity to Reeza Hendricks and Aiden Markrkam to stake a claim to be in the Proteas’ World Cup squad next year.
With Amla and Quinton de Kock almost certain to take first strike at the global tournament barring any injuries, one of Hendricks or Markram, who both played in the three ODIs against Zimbabwe with mixed results, will open alongside De Kock in Australia.
Gibson said: “We know that Quinton and Hashim have been a fantastic opening pair for the Proteas for a long time, and we also know that Reeza Hendricks and Markram have also been very good in franchise cricket.
“We wanted to see how they go. We know where we are with those two and we know that they are both very good players.”
Gibson also said the series against Australia could be the last where the Proteas will try new combinations with home series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka later this summer to be used to prepare for the World Cup.
The Proteas mentor added: “There are a lot of guys that will be in our thoughts when choosing that squad to Australia.
“For the past 12 months we’ve been looking at players and in the next couple of months the window is closing.
“We’re getting closer and closer to the guys that we want on the journey. In the next couple of series – Pakistan and Sri Lanka – we really want to be focusing on 17 or 18 players that we will be looking at.”
Proteas tour to Australia:
October 31: Prime Minister’s XI, Manuka Oval, Canberra (D/N)
November 4: 1st ODI, Perth (D/N)
November 9: 2nd ODI, Adelaide Oval (D/N)
November 11: 3rd ODI, Hobart (D/N)
November 14: T20 Tour match, Allan Border Field, Brisbane (Day)
November 17: T20 International, Gold Coast
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