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South Africa call up pacer Marchant de Lange as cover for injured Dale Steyn

South Africa on Friday called up right-arm pacer Marchant de Lange to bolster their bowling line-up as injured premier fast bowler Dale Steyn remains doubtful for the third Test against India.

India are leading the four-match series 1-0 after two matches with the third game beginning here on November 25.

De Lang was called up as a cover for the remaining two matches should Steyn fail to be fit for them. Steyn is making progress from the groin injury sustained during the first Test at Mohali.

De Lange was part of the Proteas T20 squad that beat India 2-0 in the first leg of the tour, and has played two Tests, the last being against New Zealand in Wellington in 2012.

Proteas coach Russell Domingo explained the decision in a statement on Friday: “At the moment we only have three fit seamers in Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott, so with Dale still struggling with a groin injury we decided to bring Marchant in as cover so we are prepared in case one of the three breaks down.”

“Marchant’s biggest strength is pace, if the ball does start to reverse-swing his pace through the air brings him into the contest. Even though his performances back home have been a bit inconsistent, we do know that as an impact player he is a guy that can turn the game with a good spell. Guys that can bowl at 150 kilometre per hour will always be good value.”

Domingo added the side need a significant improvement in all disciplines to pose a threat to India who have been the better side in the series so far.

“We’ve done it before. We know that we are still in the contest with two matches to play, the wickets are definitely going to produce results. We are 0-1 down so we have every chance of turning it around in Nagpur. We are aware that we have to play better cricket with bat and with ball, but we are hopeful that we can rectify that,” Domingo said.

Domingo hoped his inexperienced team has learnt a lot in the first two matches and would benefit from those lessons.

“We have a lot of inexperienced players who haven’t played in India before so hopefully they will have learnt a lot of lessons from these first two matches.”

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