Anrich Nortje set to miss 3rd ODI against Australia due to lower back spasms 

Anrich Nortje
Anrich Nortje will not play the third ODI against Australia

South Africa pacer Anrich Nortje will be unavailable to play the upcoming third ODI against Australia due to lower back spasms. The right-arm bowler had bowled five overs in the Proteas' 123-run loss in the second ODI at Bloemfontein, where he conceded 58 runs before walking off the field.

While he did return to bat at No. 10 during the run chase to score 10 runs off 13 deliveries, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has ruled him out of the crucial third ODI as he is set to undergo scans in Johannesburg on Monday.

The CSA released a brief statement on Twitter, which read:

Proteas fast bowler @AnrichNortje02 has been ruled out of the 3rd #Betway ODI against Australia. Nortje left the field after 5 overs due to lower back spasms. He still requires further assessment & will undergo scans.

The right-arm pacer, who was crowned as CSA's Player of the Year in July, has been included in the 2023 ODI World Cup squad. His recent form, however, has been concerning, to say the least.

Nortje had only come into the playing XI for the second ODI in place of Lungi Ngidi after missing out on the series opener. He was also not part of the T20I squad that suffered a 3-0 loss to Australia recently.

Prior to the ongoing ODI series against the Aussies, he was seen playing in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) and the 2023 Major League Cricket (MLC).

Representing the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, Nortje had a lukewarm campaign, claiming 10 wickets from 10 matches at an economy of 9.10. For the Washington Freedom in the MLC, he took only two wickets in six matches.

Anrich Nortje's scan results will determine the extent of his injury

South Africa will be eagerly waiting for the medical staff to determine the extent of Anrich Nortje's injury, considering that the 2023 ODI World Cup is less than a month away.

The Proteas surprisingly loaded their squad with pacers and all-rounders for a tournament in subcontinent conditions, but they will not prefer naming a replacement for Nortje as he is still among their first-choice frontline seamers.

South Africa are scheduled to play the third ODI against Australia at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom, on Tuesday.

The Proteas are currently facing a 0-2 deficit in the series and the upcoming contest is a must-win game if they wish to remain alive in the five-match affair.

Will South Africa miss the services of Anrich Nortje in the third ODI against Australia? Let us know what you think.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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