CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - The imminent arrival of a baby is the primary concern for South Africa as they face the possibility of playing the upcoming second test against Pakistan without top batsman Hashim Amla.
He returned to South Africa from the United Arab Emirates on Friday for the birth of his second child, scheduled for the weekend but by no means sure of happening right away, leaving his participation in doubt.
It had always been planned the world's top ranked test batsman would play in the first test in Abu Dhabi, fly home for the birth of his second child and then dash back to Dubai for Wednesday's start of the second and final test - with nature's co-operation.
Amla plans to wait out the arrival by working out in the nets and plotting a way to level the series after the opening defeat.
"We will go back and address where we have gone wrong, where we can improve and over the next few days a lot of hard work will be put into place in our training sessions and discussions," he said, of both his and the strategy of the team left behind in the UAE.
"We know where we went wrong but this team is without a doubt a fantastic team.
"We take a lot of pride in our performance and this has hurt, we set high standards for ourselves," Amla told reporters.
After a seven-wicket loss for South Africa in the first test - ending a 15-match unbeaten run spanning almost two years - the potential absence of Amla could weight heavily.
His 118 with the bat in the in first innings in Abu Dhabi was one of the few highlights for the Proteas, who will not replace him if he does not make it back in time. (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Patrick Johnston)