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South Africa wait on Kallis' fitness

Associated Press

Last Updated: April 04, 2009, 17:15 IST

South Africa wait on Kallis' fitness

South Africa are hoping all-rounder Jacques Kallis has recovered from a groin strain.

Pretoria: South Africa are hoping all-rounder Jacques Kallis has recovered from a groin strain to help try and level the one-day series against Australia in Sunday’s second match.

The Proteas were thumped by 141 runs by Australia in Durban on Friday in the first of the five-match series, and captain Graeme Smith said the absence of Kallis was no excuse for a sub-standard performance.

“There are other good players in the side and they must do the job," Smith said. “But this defeat does not turn us into a bad side and I am confident that we will be able to bounce back on Sunday."

Kallis, who has been battling with a groin strain since the third Test between the sides at Newlands in Cape Town last month, has scored 10,057 runs in 287 ODIs and taken 246 wickets. If Kallis is fit, either Makhaya Ntini or Morne Morkel is likely to make way after both bowlers conceded more than 60 runs.

South Africa, who won both the Twenty20 games, are bidding to stay the No 1 one-day team in the world after taking the title with a 4-1 series win in Australia earlier this year under stand-in captain Johan Botha because Smith was injured.

Smith said his team had given away too many runs in the last 10 overs at Kingsmead, even allowing for Australia holding back their power play until this stage of the innings.

Friday’s result was Australia’s highest ever winning margin against South Africa, beating their 103-run victory in Sydney in the 1993-94 season. The visitors are unlikely to make any changes to their team unless there are injuries.

first published:April 04, 2009, 17:15 IST
last updated:April 04, 2009, 17:15 IST
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