India train for Boxing Day Test as South Africa suffer injury setback - in pictures

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje ruled out of three-match Test series due to hip injury

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India continued preparations for the three-match South Africa Test series on Tuesday as the hosts suffered a major injury setback.

Proteas fast bowler Anrich Nortje was ruled out of the Test series, which starts in Centurion on Sunday, due to a "persistent" hip injury.

Nortje is one of the fastest bowlers in the world and has taken 46 wickets in 10 Tests since the 2019-20 season. He formed a lethal new-ball attack with Kagiso Rabada and his absence will be felt.

Nortje's injury has opened the door for tearaway quick Duanne Olivier to return to the Test team after an absence of more than two years during which he played in English county cricket as a Kolpak player.

With seven other fast bowlers in South Africa's squad, no replacement has been called up for Nortje. The right-arm pacer is expected to be back for the subsequent ODI series.

Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa announced that no tickets will be sold for the Test and ODI series because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

CSA said that a joint decision had been taken with the India board to bar spectators from the grounds in order to prevent any possible breaches of the bio-secure environment in which the matches will be played.

The statement cited the increasing number of Covid-19 cases around the world and the current fourth wave of infections in South Africa for the decision.

Updated: December 21, 2021, 1:39 PM