Excuse the pun, but events in the past week may well have left Proteas selectors in a spin.
With the confirmation that Aaron Phangiso’s action was deemed illegal after undergoing testing at the University of Pretoria’s high performance centre there are now two scenarios to be pondered ahead of the ICC World T20.
Phangiso is due for a retest on Monday and if he comes through that he’ll be on the plane to India for the tournament. Whether he manages to keep his delivery action legal throughout the tournament, if and when he does play, is another story altogether.
But if the 32-year-old hasn’t managed to remedy his action then a back-up will be required. But who is in the mix if it happens?
The first name that jumps out is fellow Highveld Lions tweaker Eddie Leie. He enjoyed a good campaign in the Ram Slam T20 with 14 wickets, one shy of Phangiso who ended as the competition’s top tweaker.
Leie is considered part of the setup already having toured Bangladesh and India but the one drawback is that he, like Imran Tahir, is a legbreak bowler so selectors may opt to look for something different. He’s also struggled with injury lately having tweaked a hamstring in the final of the Momentum One Day Cup.
The 29 year-old led the pack among the spinners in that competition with his haul of 12 wickets.
Keshav Maharaj’s name has been bandied about as a contender and the left-arm of-spinner has the numbers to back it up. He managed 12 wickets in the domestic T20 competition and his economy rate of 6.46 was the lowest among the spinners.
“We do see him as someone who could play for South Africa in the future,” coach Russell Domingo was quoted as saying earlier this week when asked about Maharaj’s – who was called up to the South Africa A squad for their tour to India last year – chances.
There have also been some who have argued that slow-left-arm chinaman bowler Tabraiz Shamsi is also worthy of a look in by the national selectors.
The Titans tweaker took nine wickets in the Ram Slam T20 and featured for the South African A side against England in a warm-up game last month although it didn’t go his way as he was carted for 43 runs in three overs.