Amla sustained a neck injury when fielding during the third Test against Australia at the Adelaide Oval last week.
The incident happened in JP Duminy’s first over during Australia’s first innings, when he put down a sharp catch at slip off captain Steve Smith, who was on 46. The miss wasn’t too costly as Smith was run out for 59 following a misunderstanding with Usman Khawaja in going for a quick single that was never on.
Amla knocked the ball up in the air as he went to the ground, but couldn’t claim the rebound, and suffered whiplash, according to a Cobras statement on Wednesday.
But coach Paul Adams will be glad that he can call on Duminy and Vilas, although the Proteas left-hander will be given a week off to recuperate from the Australian tour and will sit out Sunday’s clash against the Dolphins in Durban (2.30pm start).
The Cobras are in fourth position on the log with eight points after just one victory in six games, with three defeats and two games being washed out.
That means that they need to win most, if not all of their remaining four matches against the Dolphins, Knights, Warriors and Lions to make the playoffs.
Even though they came good with the bat in their rain-affected no-result against the Titans in Centurion last Friday, scoring 115/4 in just 10 overs, their batting let them down up to now.
Richard Levi smashed 45 off 27 balls against the Titans, but before that, his best score was 23, while the middle-order has also blown hot and cold.
So Duminy, who produced a sparkling 141 at the Waca in Perth, could make a huge difference in a possible No 3 slot, with Vilas maybe at No 4 before the likes of Justin Ontong, Kieron Pollard and Rory Kleinveldt look to clear the boundary at the back-end of the innings.
Vilas will be hungry to show good form after sitting on the sidelines in Australia, with Quinton de Kock in fine touch with the bat and gloves.
Proteas seamer Vernon Philander is also available, but is unlikely to feature as the Cobras bowlers have done reasonably well so far.
“We must focus on what we can control,” Adams said. “I thought our batting performance in the abandoned game against the Titans was massive in terms of attitude and effort.”
Original source: Amla takes a break, but Duminy boosts Cobras