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Keshav Maharaj’s injury opportunity for Bjorn Fortuin to get Proteas ODI berth

Bjorn Fortuin has been in fine form in domestic cricket. Photo: Mike Hutchings/Sportzpics/SA20/BackpagePix

Bjorn Fortuin has been in fine form in domestic cricket. Photo: Mike Hutchings/Sportzpics/SA20/BackpagePix

Published Mar 12, 2023

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Gqeberha – The Achilles injury to Keshav Maharaj on Day four of the second Test against the West Indies will give Bjorn Fortuin a well-deserved opportunity to have a crack once again in One Day Internationals after solid returns in domestic cricket with both ball and bat.

"Keshav's injury was the one downside to this game and it doesn't look good," Conrad said before the news filtered through.

From the moment Maharaj went to the ground after a successful review post lunch on Day four at the Wanderers, it was clear as day that the injury was serious. After an MRI Scan on Saturday, Cricket South Africa announced that Maharaj had raptured his Achilles tendon.

CSA has not announce how long it will take Maharaj to get back on the Park, but a ruptured Achilles tendon generally takes months to recover.

This brings Bjorn Fortuin into the fold a lot more seeing that he has been selected for the white-ball leg of the West Indies tour of South Africa. Fortuin has been knocking on the Proteas door for a long while with match winning performances for the Lions in domestic cricket.

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His unbeaten half-century in last season’s final of the CSA One Day Cup against the Titans at Centurion showed glimpses of what Fortuin can offer the Proteas’ fifty over side. That knock, 62* off 54 deliveries with 6x4s and 2x6s, was in a high-pressure game where the Lions needed him to stand up and fight to the very end.

That knock guided the Lions to victory in the final.

This season, the spinner took eleven wickets at an impressive average of 20.45 as the Lions retained the CSA One Day Cup trophy.

Like Maharaj, Fortuin is a fighter, a very competitive bowler who thrives in high pressure situations. Over the years, he has shown his ability with the new ball and also in controlling the middle overs superbly.

The Buffalo Park wicket has taken a lot of spin in the past couple of seasons and is best for Fortuin to return to the ODI side as a spinner who offers a bit with the bat as well.

@imongamagcwabe