Abu Dhabi: South Africa suffered a potential setback ahead of their high-profile home Test series against India next month after captain Graeme Smith was advised two to three week rest due to a hand injury he suffered during the ongoing series against Pakistan.
An x-ray report revealed an undisplaced fracture on Smith’s left hand and he faces race against time to be fit for the three-match series against India starting December 16.
“Scans have confirmed that Smith sustained an undisplaced fracture to the fourth Metacarpal of his left hand and the doctor said it will take two to three weeks rest to heal,” a statement from Cricket South Africa said.
Team manager Mohammad Moosajee said, “Smith faces a race against time to get fit for the first Test (starting on December 16 at Centurion.”
“It was aggravated by the continuous wear and tear involved with fielding and batting and flared up while he was fielding during the current Test match,” he said.
Moosajee, however, hoped that Smith could be fit in time for the first Test against India.
“Knowing our experiences with Graeme in the past we have said he would need a six-week lay-off and he was ready in four. Other times we said three weeks and it took him longer.”
The 29-year-old South African captain did not open South Africa’s second innings in the second and final Test against Pakistan today after spraining his right thumb and recurrence of his left hand finger injury. Hashim Amla stepped up the order in his place.
Smith sustained the finger injury when he was hit by Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar during the first of five one-day matches last month which South Africa won 3-2.
Smith batted through pain to score a brilliant hundred in the first Test in Dubai, which ended in a draw last week.
South Africa host India for three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 International match.
The Test series is billed as a contest between the world’s top two teams, with India number one in Test rankings and South Africa at two. The first of the three Tests begins at Centurion on December 16.