09 Jan 2018
Time up for injury prone Dale Steyn?
Written byRodney Dsouza
South Africa have been dealt a massive blow after pace spearhead Dale Steyn was ruled out of the remainder of the three-match Test series against India. He had damaged the tissue on his left heel on the second day of the opening Test.
Duanne Olivier has been named Steyn's replacement for the second Test which begins in Centurion from January 13.
Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi added to Proteas squad
Pacers Duanne Olivier and Lungi Ngidi have been brought into the Proteas Test squad.
Olivier has played five Test matches for South Africa since making his debut during the series against Sri Lanka last year.
The speedster has 17 wickets at an average of 23.11.
Young Lungi Ngidi is yet to make his debut in whites.
Running out of luck
Steyn comeback marred by another injury
Dale Steyn, who made his comeback in the longest format of the sport after 14 months on the sidelines owing to a shoulder injury picked up against Australia in Perth, left the field three balls into his 18th over after landing on his foot awkwardly.
The team management has its fingers crossed, hoping he will be fit in time for Australia.
Steyn optimistic about quick return
"I'm on the crutches because I've got a no bearing weight on the leg for a while. But it's right underneath the heel, so it's extremely sore to stand on or step on. I'm going to have to give it time to recover," Steyn said.
Steyn chases Pollock's record
Steyn was impressive in his comeback Test picking up 2/51, despite being out of action for 14 months.
He also entered the record books as Test's crickets top 10 wicket takers.
34-year-old Steyn is also just 3 wickets away from breaking Shaun Pollock's record as South Africa's all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.
Steyn has missed 21 of the last 27 Tests
However impressive the idea of being South Africa's leading wicket-taker sounds, Steyn needs to keep his fitness in mind.
The 34-year-old has played just 6 of South Africa's most recent 27 Tests.
To make matters worse, he has been injured in the very first match in four of the last 5 series he has played in.
Always injured in the 1st Test of the series
Steyn suffered a groin injury in the first Test in India back in November 2016 and then picked up a shoulder injury against England in December the same year.
He only managed to play two Tests without an injury against New Zealand in August, before picking up the shoulder injury against Australia that kept him out for 14 months.
Running out of steam?
Time to call it a day on Test career?
At 34, Steyn is in the twilight of his career and judging by the frequent injuries, it looks like his body cannot handle the grueling lengthy spells of Test cricket.
The speedster is optimistic about his recovery, but sooner he opts to retire from the longest format of the game, the longer he can prolong his cricketing career.