South Africa’s woes in the gruelling Test series against India continues as fast bowler Dale Steyn will miss the three consecutive Test against India. Now he will miss the fourth and final Test of the “Gandhi-Mandela” series at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi. Steyn, 32, has played the first Test at Mohali, but he was ruled out from the Bangalore Test and Nagpur Test due to a groin injury.
“I can confirm that Dale Steyn is not going to be fit. Dale is not playing in this game,” visiting captain Hashim Amla said at the pre-match news conference on Wednesday.
South Africa’s unbeaten series streak on foreign soil has ended in Nagpur. Steyn’s pace bowling did not make much difference in the first Test as India won the match inside three days. Steyn bowled only 11 overs in the first innings. He did not get any wicket.
South Africa lost the series to India’S spin trio- Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra. The series did not see any 300 run innings by both teams and only three fifties were scored by Murali Vijay, AB de Villiers and Cheteshwar Pujara.
Indian spin duo is leading the wicket chart. Ashwin has taken 24 wickets in three Tests while Ravindra Jadeja as taken 16. Among the South Africa bowlers, leg-spinner Imran Tahir ha took 12 wickets and Simon Harmer 10.
ICC rated the Nagpur pitch “poor”, in which Dale Steyn in the last tour wrecked havoc on Indian team and drew the series against India. But, the pitches made for this series already drew criticism from around the world.
Nagpur pitch is the worst of all previous two pitches at Mohali and Bangalore. The ball was getting a unevn bounce, often skidded. South African batsmen who are not much familiar with this kind of pitches failed to cope with. Captain Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis played stubborn innings, but that were not enough to prevent the inevitable defeat as Ashwin has taken fifer in both innings.
So, in these pitches Dale Steyn unlikely to make any difference to South Africa’s destiny. The truth to be told. This South African team is quite an inexperienced. With opener Dean Elgar, who showed some initial resistance, but succumbed to the immense pressure created by Ashwin, Jadeja and Mishra. Wicketkeeper Dane Vilas also not familiar with Indian pitches.
However, the absence of Dale Steyn is a hefty blow for South Africa. Steyn recently joined the 400 wicket club in Bangladesh. His new ball partner Morne Morkel has taken a three wickets each in both innings at Nagpur Test. So, if Dale Steyn could accompany him Indian batsmen might not find the as easy as it appeared on the day three.
South Africa captain Hashim Amla said, they need to win the Delhi Test as they have a four-Test home series against England from December 26.
“We got the England series very close, two weeks after we get back. It’s very important for us to get back to winning ways,” said Amla, who has had a poor series with the bat.