South Africa are unlikely to have the services of their premier pace bowler Dale Steyn for the second match running as he was yet to fully recover from a groin injury, said visiting team skipper Hashim Amla on the eve of the third and penultimate Test against India.
“Dale Steyn won’t probably play in this Test match, I don’t think his injury has recovered fully,” said Amla.
“Yes, not having Dale in the team is a setback because not having the best bowler in the world is never a nice thing. But we’ve got to deal with it, and we’ve got some good reserves. Hopefully, the guys who play will get a chance to stand out,” he remarked.
Steyn grabbed 10 wickets after South Africa amassed over 500 runs to inflict a humiliating innings defeat on India when the two teams met five years ago at the same VCA Stadium in Jamtha.
South Africa have flown in Marchant de Lange as the back-up pacer ahead of the match.
With South Africa trailing 0-1 in the four-Test rubber, Amla conceded the team’s batting has failed to click, while hoping for a turnaround in this Orange City.
“We haven’t played our best Test cricket. If one goes back in the past, at Mohali I’d definitely say that in the first three innings, we were definitely in it. If India got bowled out for 200, and we got bowled out for 187, I think it’s fair reflection that the game was pretty poised up until the last innings, in which we didn’t do too well, obviously. In the first day of the last Test, we didn’t bat well again.
“So it hasn’t been our full-flowing Test cricket that we’re normally used to. This will be great for a start that hopefully in Nagpur we can get on to the pitch and put up a performance that the South African team is used to. The issue has been more with the lack of runs than the lack of wickets.
“Hopefully, we’ll get the runs and continue to play the game to win.”
The Proteas batsmen have come a cropper against the Indian spin attack and asked about the wicket prepared for the third game, Amla remarked wryly, “Well, it looks like a good cricket wicket, one that we kind of expect in the sub continent. They’ve played three spinners in the first game as well, so it’s nothing new.”