Sleepy Kyle Abbott almost missed dream debut

At that stage he was designated as a back-up player and he was happy just to be welcomed by the national players, "seeing how the number one team in the world prepares for Test matches and how they go about their business". On Thursday, the day before the Test, coach Gary Kirsten told him that Jacques Kallis had a minor injury and that he might be in the team.

updated: February 24, 2013 02:28 IST
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Centurion: When Kyle Abbott's mobile phone rang at his Durban home early on Tuesday morning he didn't recognise the number, stopped the call, switched his phone to silent and went back to sleep.

What he didn't realise was that the mystery caller was Andrew Hudson, convener of the South African selectors, informing him that he needed to get on a flight to Johannesburg to join the squad for the third Test against Pakistan at Centurion.

Six days later he is a new South African sports hero after taking seven for 29 on his Test debut, enabling his country to enforce the follow-on and press for a series whitewash.

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