Any hopes that South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn would be available to fill in for Kagiso Rabada in the third Test at Newlands next week have been dashed after the fast bowler’s recovery suffered another delay.
Rabada has been suspended for two matches by ICC. Although South Africa are investigating the merit of an appeal, they look almost certain to be without the top-ranked Test bowler in the world for the second half of a series that is currently square at 1-1.
While Steyn would have been a welcome addition to the squad in Rabada’s absence, his availability hinged on whether he was able to play for the Titans in their Sunfoil Series fixture that starts on Thursday.
However 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 for the Titans in the final round of franchise games, which start on March 22 – the same day of the Newlands Test.
South Africa will announce their squad for the final two Tests later this week, with Chris Morris and Duanne Olivier the likeliest bowlers to be included as cover for Rabada’s absence. Steyn’s absence means that Morne Morkel is almost certain to come into the side, having missed out on selection for the second Test to Lungi Ngidi.