Dale Steyn all but ruled out from first South Africa vs India Test in Cape Town
Dale Steyn has been out of action from Test cricket for over a year. He is trying to return to competitive cricket in the India vs South Africa Test series starting January 5cricket Updated: Jan 02, 2018 20:55 IST
Dale Steyn’s return to Test cricket is likely to be delayed as South Africa are still sweating on the full fitness of the former world’s No. 1 fast bowler. Steyn is all but ruled out from the first Test against India starting in Cape Town on January 5.
The 34-year-old Steyn was to resume his Test duties in the one-off Test match against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth last week but he pulled out of the match with a viral infection. Steyn was subsequently named in the squad for the first Test against India at Newlands.
The four-day Test against Zimbabwe would have been Steyn’s first in over a year due to a shoulder injury.
South African coach Ottis Gibson feels Steyn may not hold up for the Test so he may not play.
Steyn’s 417 Test-wicket haul is just four shy of the South African record held by Shaun Pollock but the target remains both tantalisingly close and frustratingly elusive at the same time.
Standing between him and the tag of the country’s best ever bowler have been a serious shoulder injury and a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
It has been 14 months since Steyn’s last Test and the rustiness of the lay-off, plus the absence of a decent examination of his shoulder in match conditions, could see him left out, local media suggested.
Dale Steyn’s shoulder travails began against England in Durban in December 2015 but it was just under a year later in Perth in November 2016 that extensive damage was done as he broke the right shoulder and tore three major muscles on the second day of the first Test against Australia.
He went home to Cape Town for surgery, followed by lengthy rehabilitation and abortive comebacks before he was gently eased back into Twenty20 action in November and then 12 wicketless overs in whites just before Christmas.
(With inputs from Reuters)