Dale Steyn will not be available for selection in the upcoming third Test match of the ongoing series between South Africa and Australia. Proteas are currently seeking a replacement of Kagiso Rabada in the third Test at Newlands next week as the pacer has been banned for two Test matches by ICC due to breaching player's code of conduct.
The series is currently square at 1-1.
It was confirmed on Monday (March 12) that Steyn has not recovered from a heel injury in time to play in that match, and will now target a return in the final round of domestic franchise games for his team Titans, which starts on March 22 - the same day of the Newlands Test.
Meanwhile, speaking before Steyn's status had been revealed, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said that he hopes the experienced pace to make a comeback in the fourth Test at the Wanderers.
"I'm not 100% sure where Dale is. From my understanding, he would have needed to play a game this week, which he didn't, which would probably set him back for the third Test, I would assume," du Plessis said.
"Our plan for him was to play a game. But I would be praying extra hard that he would be ready for that third Test to make sure we can have him available if he (is fit). On the spot now, I would assume probably on the fourth Test."
Steyn's absence will provide Morne Morkel, who is just three wickets short of 300 Test scalps, a chance in the playing XI. Having missed out on selection for the second Test, Morkel would like to give his everything in Cape Town as it can also turn out to be the final Test of his career.
About the Author
Sandipan Banerjee is a Kolkata-based independent cricket journalist by profession and admirer of this great sport by nature. He tweets at @im_sandipan.