Albie Morkel Ruled Out Of One Day Series Opener

South African Albie Morkel has been ruled out of the opening One Day International against England at Headingley as he continues to struggle with recovery from a shoulder injury.

“It has not responded as quickly to treatment as we had hoped,” commented captain Graeme Smith. “And we will have to make a decision on his prospects for the remainder of the series at the weekend.”

Vernon Philander is set to replace the big-hitting left-hander and will make his first ODI appearance in the last 12 months after travelling to Bangladesh and Pakistan only to be ruled out through injury.

Despite South Africa being comfortably ranked ahead of England, Smith believes that no side goes into the series with a clear advantage.

“Bearing in mind that we have struggled to practise our One Day skills (a reference to the weather that again kept the Proteas indoors on Thursday) and the fact that we have not played ODI cricket since March, I believe the two sides will start fairly even,” Smith added.

“We need to make up in intensity anything our game may lack in terms of rusty skills.

“Obviously, winning the Test series was the primary objective of this tour and something that has made us very proud but I am confident that the boys will be ready for the ODIs. We want to finish the tour on a strong note."

Meanwhile, England bowler Ryan Sidebottom has also been ruled out of the match with hip and groin problems. The Nottinghamshire left-armer passed fitness tests but would not have been able to bowl.

His fitness will be monitored ahead of the second and thid One Day Internationals.

Chris Tremlett or Tim Bresnan would appear to be the favourites to replace the former Yorkshire bowler.

The Twenty20 International between the two sides was abandoned on Wednesday after South Africa won the Test series

© Cricket World 2008

Match Date Start Time
1st One Day International, Headingley 22nd August 2008 13:30 GMT
2nd One Day International, Trent Bridge 26th August 2008 13:30 GMT
3rd One Day International, The Brit Oval
29th August 2008 09:15 GMT
4th One Day International, Lord's
31st August 2008 09:15 GMT
5th One Day International, Cardiff
3rd September 2008 13:30 GMT