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Dale Steyn likely to miss Bangladesh tour as well

"I’m bowling fine but I haven’t hit the full workload I’d need to handle four-day cricket or a Test so I decided it was best not to play," Steyn said.

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn of South Africa. (Photo by Jan Kruger-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Regarded amongst the greatest pacers of the decade, Dale Steyn’s comeback has been widely awaited by the cricketing universe. Over the years, we’ve seen Steyn’s pace wind down. While the South African team management took great steps not to overburden his workload by reducing his limited-overs commitments, age a certain factor in determining the career stretch of a fast bowler started to wear him.

In the Australia-South Africa series last year, Steyn walked off the field on Day 2 of the first Test due to an aggravated shoulder injury. Scans revealed that he required a surgery sidelining him for at least 6 months. That was the last, fans saw of him. While many people hoped that the upcoming Bangladesh tour of South Africa would mark his return, it seems highly unlikely.

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Current state and possible comeback

Steyn made it clear that he doesn’t look forward to playing the longer format anytime soon. “I’ve decided not to play right now. I’m bowling fine but I haven’t hit the full workload I’d need to handle four-day cricket or a Test so I decided it was best not to play. Playing the four-day game would have given me a chance for selection in the Tests but I don’t want to put myself or the team in a position where I pull up again. Some shorter cricket might be the better answer for a reintroduction,” he was quoted in a report by ESPNCricinfo.

The recovery period for Steyn’s injury has been more than 8 months. He stated, “I might just play some club stuff in Pretoria or Cape Town. It doesn’t really matter to me at what level it is, I just need some cricket and I thought going from nothing to possibly bowling 30+ overs was a bit of a risk. It sucks, but I want to play for a few more years, not just till then end of October. It’s been a frustrating time, but I want to play for a few more years and I’m confident I will. The longer stuff is too much right now, so we wait for possibly the white ball to come around.”

Kallis on Steyn injury

For the Global T20 league, Dale Steyn has been signed by the Cape Town Knight Riders and coach Jacques Kallis expects him to be fit to play.

“Having chosen him for the Knight Riders, I’ve kept a close eye on him. I was under a little bit of pressure from the owners asking ‘Are you sure?’ He’s busy bowling seven overs a day at the moment, and doesn’t want to go into a four day game upfront. He’s worried about bowling 18 overs in a day, so I think he just wants to ease into it a little bit more and make sure he’s 100% fit,” Kallis said in an event.

“It’s a very mature decision he’s made and I think he will still have a massive impact this season. When he’s fully fit he’s as dangerous as any bowler in the world and he will be 100% at some stage. I know he’s as hungry as ever, he’s hungry to achieve and he will normally always find a way to do that,” the legendary all-rounder concluded.

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