Kagiso Rabada is recovering from a stomach bug‚ but seems in better shape than Ross Taylor after two days of the first test in Dunedin.
Team management said after stumps yesterday, which New Zealand reached on 177/3 in reply to South Africa’s first-innings 308‚ that Rabada had taken ill on Wednesday afternoon but had since stopped vomiting.
Despite his condition the fast bowler has pulled his weight‚ batting for 20 minutes and bowling 14 overs.
Taylor would seem much worse off. He retired hurt with an injured calf after facing 20 balls‚ and limped gingerly off the field with assistance.
The stalwart of 81 tests‚ who with Kane Williamson represents the heart of New Zealand’s batting‚ could be in danger of missing the rest of the series.
Team management have yet to issue an update on Taylor’s condition.
Morne Morkel made a satisfactory return from a lingering back problem in 10 overs in which he went wicketless but impressed South Africa’s bowling coach‚ Charl Langeveldt.
“The key thing was that Morkel’s pace was up and he was bowling at 100%.”
Williamson was due to resume today on 78 not out. Langeveldt knew his wicket would be precious, saying: “We have to box smart and try and contain Kane Williamson; he’s the key.”
South Africa’s most dangerous bowler could be Vernon Philander‚ whose knack for finding whatever assistance there is in any surface looms as an important factor.
“He bowls good areas‚ so he’s going to ask questions,” Langeveldt said.
The trick‚ for South Africa‚ is to make sure New Zealand don’t have too many answers.