South African spinner Imran Tahir in doubt for fourth ODI

South Africa could be without frontline spin bowler Imran Tahir for the fourth one-dayer against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after he injured his knee in the 73-run defeat in Canberra on Wednesday.

South African spinner Imran Tahir in doubt for fourth ODI

Sydney: South Africa could be without frontline spin bowler Imran Tahir for the fourth one-dayer against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after he injured his knee in the 73-run defeat in Canberra on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old leg spinner did not bat in the loss at Manuka Oval, which left the tourists 2-1 down in the World Cup warm-up series with matches to come in Melbourne on Friday and Sydney on Sunday.

"I think he sprained his knee a little bit," Proteas skipper AB de Villiers told reporters in Canberra. "We`ll assess him over the next day and see what he`s like on Thursday night and make the call on the morning of the game.

"I`m not sure how serious it is."

South Africa are already without part-time spin option in all rounder JP Duminy, who was ruled out for the series when he aggravated a long-standing knee problem during the Twenty20 series against Australia.

The 30-year-old should be sidelined for about six weeks and has returned to South Africa for intensive treatment to ensure he is fit for the Feb. 14-March 29 World Cup.

"That`s why he went home, to get ready for end of the year cricket and that World Cup," De Villiers added.

"He plays a big part in our team. It really balances the team nicely when he`s here, it gives us that extra option.

"Obviously his finishing ability in that middle order is priceless, looking forward to getting him back at the end of the year."