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South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Centurion – Kagiso Rabada not a guaranteed starter in Johannesburg

South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Centurion - Kagiso

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South Africa coach concerned about workloads with Rabada having not played a Test since January

Kagiso Rabada is not an automatic pick for the Wanderers Test despite his status as leader of the attack and the match being on his home ground. Rabada was added to South Africa’s squad after four weeks on the sidelines with a groin strain, sustained during the T20 series against England.

He was due to sit out the three ODIs, which were postponed, and missed the Boxing Day Test but has joined the South Africa bio-bubble where the national coaches will work with him to determine his readiness for Test cricket.

“Because his name is Kagiso Rabada, we would want to play him but we’ve got to manage his loads,” Mark Boucher, South Africa’s coach, said. “He is coming back from injury so we will just monitor his progress.”

South Africa also hope to have Beuran Hendricks back in the squad after he was withdrawn last week, alongside Keegan Petersen. “Beuran is going through medical protocols to come into the bubble,” Boucher said. “He has needed to have one or two Covid tests as well as checking what his antibody tests are.”

Rabada and Hendricks will act as cover for Glenton Stuurman, who was tipped to make his debut at SuperSport Park but was left out with a niggle which is still being treated, and Lungi Ngidi, who had a small injury concern during the lead-up in Centurion. South Africa also have Migael Pretorius and Dwaine Pretorius in reserve. Petersen will not be added just yet, because all the batsmen in the current squad are fully fit.

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