Beuran Hendricks returns to South Africa squad for second Sri Lanka Test

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Migael Pretorius released but South Africa can still pick from eight pace-bowling options

Left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks, who has played one Test for South Africa, has been added to their squad for the New Year’s Test at the Wanderers. Hendricks was part of the original 15-man squad that was announced on December 11 but had to be withdrawn for reasons related to Covid-19.

Although CSA does not disclose the names of infected players, because of doctor-patient confidentiality, coach Mark Boucher indicated Hendricks had been affected by the virus and was undergoing tests to determine if he could enter the bio-bubble and rejoin the group. “Beuran is going through medical protocols to come into the bubble. He has needed to have one or two Covid tests as well as checking what his antibody tests are,” Boucher said at the conclusion of the Boxing Day Test.

Hendricks’ inclusion comes after Migael Pretorius, who was called up to the Test as cover on December 16, had to be released because of a shoulder injury. It still leaves South Africa with at least eight pace-bowling options for the second Test: the four selected for the first Test – Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Lutho Sipamla and Wiaan Mulder – as well as Kagiso Rabada, Glenton Stuurman, Dwaine Pretorius and Hendricks.

Although it may appear South Africa are stocking up on seamers to go all pace on what is expected to be a spicy track, Boucher said he was “not a fan” of going into a Test without a spinner, which should leave Keshav Maharaj’s place secure. Meanwhile, Rabada, who was added to the squad during the Centurion Test after recovering from a groin injury, is not a certain starter as South Africa look to monitor his workload.

The same can be said of Stuurman, who was expected to debut at SuperSport Park but missed out because of a niggle.

That means Hendricks may come into contention to earn his second Test cap at his home ground. Hendricks debuted at the Bullring in January against England and took six wickets in the match, including 5 for 64 in the second innings.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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