South Africa’s premier fast bowler Dale Steyn, who picked up a heel injury during the first Test against India in Cape Town, has returned to the nets and is expected to retrieve his full fitness ahead of the third Tests against Australia, scheduled to be played on March 22.
The veteran pacer had sustained a tissue damage on his left heel during Day 2’s play against India at Newlands which ruled him out of action for the remainder of the Test series and the subsequent limited-overs series. Following South Africa’s 118-run loss in the first Test against Australia in Durban, Steyn affirmed that he was again walking down a well-worn comeback trail.
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Talking to Radio KFM in South Africa, Steyn said, “I’m actually walking to my car right now to have a bowl. I can’t wait. It’s been a long time – shoulder, foot, all that kind of stuff. Watching the cricket yesterday and seeing some of the things that are happening on the field, I just want to get out there.”
Steyn has taken 419 Test wickets for South Africa in 86 matches, is just two wickets away from becoming the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket for the Proteas. He said, “I’m looking at trying to get into the third Test, get back with the boys and everything like that. I’ve had a bit of an unlucky one with my foot – Mitchell Starc has actually had something very similar to mine, but mine was just a little bit worse. It seems like every injury I get is really bad.”
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He further elaborated, “I’m probably another two or three weeks away … I have to play one or two warm-up games. So hopefully everything goes according to plan, and by the end of next week, I should be back on the cricket field.”
Dale said that he keenly followed the first Test against Australia and felt that the Proteas were less aggressive as a unit because of the restraints placed on speedster Kagiso Rabada. He said, “One other guy that actually gets involved is ‘KG’ (Kagiso Rabada) – he really does get stuck in. But I think after the last few incidents where he got into trouble – he got a ban and a fine and everything like that – he kind of has the handcuffs around him right now, which is a little unfair.”