South Africa skipper Dean Elgar warned that Rassie van der Dussen dropping out with a broken finger may not be the only change to their batting order for the decider against England at the Kia Oval on September 8.
Van der Dussen batted bravely through a broken finger on the third day at Old Trafford to make 41 from 132 balls, but could not prevent an innings defeat,
At the game’s conclusion it was confirmed that he would not play at the Oval, but Elgar suggested there could be further changes to come.
Aiden Markram suffered two more frustrating failures, and is averaging 12.6 in his last eight Tests.
The favourite to come in is Ryan Rickelton, who played well for Northamptonshire in the County Championship earlier this year, but they could bring in Khaya Zondo for Markram.
All-rounder Wiaan Mulder has been added to the squad, while Marco Jansen will be in the frame for a return to the XI after being dropped for Simon Harmer at Old Trafford, a move that back-fired.
"A few tough decisions will be coming our way," Elgar said. "With Rassie ruled out, we have to replace him. That’s a definite. Whether that’s the only one we will make ... we’ve got a few days. We’ve got nearly two weeks. We’ll go away and get our options and try and get better combinations.
"The bottom line is we need runs from that middle order and that is letting us down quite a bit, to be frank and bold and honest. That’s the truth. As much as guys don’t want to hear it, they know that already. But for now, Rassie’s position has to be filled. Whether that’s the only spot, we are not sure just yet.”
Elgfar promised South Africa would not panic after the defeat.
"Sometimes you can go into panic mode when things like this happen," he said. "Myself and the coach are not guys to panic. We are still a good side. Sometimes time away from the game is not a bad thing. We will use that period for a bit of connection again within the group.
”Let’s pull ourselves towards ourselves and don’t forget why we are here: we are here to win a Test series and we are in a great position to still win a Test series. We’ll clear our minds, let the dust settle and focus on the third Test. It’s set up to be a serious series. I can’t wait for that third Test to start."