Herschelle Gibbs has been recalled as cover for injured allrounder Jacques Kallis for the remainder of South Africa's limited-overs international series against England.
Kallis is expected to be sidelined for a month with a rib injury, discovered after a scan at the weekend. Kallis missed the seven-wicket loss to England at Centurion on Sunday, which put the hosts behind 1-0 in the five-match ODI series.
It is not certain whether 35-year-old Gibbs, with 21 ODI centuries from 245 appearances, will play in the next match in Cape Town on Friday as the least experienced batsmen in the Proteas' top five, Alviro Petersen and Hashim Amla, both scored half centuries on Sunday.
Gibbs, who scored a record six 6s in one over against Netherlands at the 2007 World Cup, was initially overlooked for this series. He scored 22 in his last ODI, a loss to England in the group stage of the Champions Trophy in September.
The absence of Kallis causes problems for the balance of the South African team because he bats high in the order and is used as an extra seamer in the bowling attack. The Proteas will consider the composition of the attack this week, with left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell a contender for a recall from an ankle injury. Gibbs' experience could strengthen the South Africa lineup, given his ability with the bat and his top-rate fielding. If recalled, the South Africans would be looking to Gibbs to provide the kind of performance, which Paul Collingwood did for England on the weekend. Collingwood set a record of 171 ODI appearances for England, underlining his value with two wickets and an undefeated 105. England captain Andrew Strauss said said Collingwood was playing better than ever.
"Players of Collie's temperament are always dangerous," he said. "They always like the difficult situations, and Collie has often played his best for England when things are a bit against the wall - but (Sunday) was just a great example of us playing the type of cricket we want to play and not making it hard for ourselves. Hopefully we can take some confidence from that and keep moving up."
The first match of the series was washed out by rain in Johannesburg last Friday, so England has a 1-0 lead with only three matches remaining.
After Friday's game at Newlands, the remaining matches are scheduled for Port Elizabeth on Sunday and Kingsmead, Durban, on December 4.