South African spinner Keshav Maharaj has been ruled out of the third Test of the ongoing series against India after sustaining an injury to his right shoulder while fielding during the second day of the Pune Test. Cricket South Africa confirmed the development and announced that George Linde will replace Maharaj for the final Test.
Despite cementing his spot in South Africa's playing XI as a front-line spinner, Maharaj has enjoyed more success with the bat in this series. In the second Test match at Pune, Maharaj managed just one wicket in his 50-over first innings spell.
However, with the bat, he played a phenomenal knock, amassing 72 runs and finishing as his side's highest run-scorer. He played out 132 deliveries before eventually losing his wicket to Ravichandran Ashwin. Moreover, Maharaj struck 12 fours during his stay at the crease as he took the attack to the Indian bowlers.
In the second innings, Maharaj scored 22 runs off 65 balls, taking his match total to 94 runs.
All you need to know about George Linde
George Linde, who has been roped in as Maharaj's replacement, is a 27-year-old spinner from Cape Town who plays for Cape Cobras in the domestic circuit. He is yet to make his international debut, but has featured in 45 first-class matches in which he has scalped 160 wickets at an average of 24.05.
His economy rate of 2.92 is evidence of the fact that he knows how to keep a check on the runs, while his strike rate of 49.4 indicates that he has the ability to pick up wickets at regular intervals. Linde has taken 9 five-wicket and 2 ten-wicket hauls in his domestic career.
With South Africa having lost the series already, it will be interesting to see whether they hand Linde his debut in the Ranchi Test starting 19th October.