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Dale Steyn set to feature for South Africa in the 3rd Test against England

Steyn is expected to make a comeback while Philander is unlikely to be risked for the 3rd Test which begins at the Wanderers on January 14

Dale Steyn Vernon Philander South Africa Cricket
Steyn is expected to make a comeback while Philander is unlikely to be risked for the 3rd Test

South African speedster Dale Steyn is set to make his latest comeback from injury and is expected to be named in the squad for the 3rd Test against England which begins at the Wanderers on January 14. Fellow fast bowler Vernon Philander is unlikely to be risked though but could be in contention for the fourth and final Test at Centurion.

Steyn has been struggling with injury over the last two years, especially in the longer format, and has missed four of the last six Tests played by South Africa. Three of them came against India after he was forced out of the first match with a groin strain. The 32-year-old spent seven weeks on the sidelines before playing in the first Test against England.

Unfortunately for Steyn, the comeback proved to be a hurried one as he suffered a shoulder problem during the match at Durban, one the visitors eventually went on to win by a margin of 241 runs.

Given that the second Test looks highly likely to end up in a stalemate, the hosts will be banking upon their premier fast bowler to bring them back into contention in the four-Test series.

Chris Morris has had a forgettable debut with the ball and along with Kagiso Rabada, conceded runs at nearly six-an-over in the first innings of the ongoing second Test against Cook’s men. Bringing back Steyn might seem a hurried one, but South Africa are likely to take the risk considering how poorly the other fast bowlers have performed.

Steyn appears ready, though, as he took to microblogging site Twitter to convey that he had resumed bowling in the nets. He was spotted at the Newlands on Monday along with Kyle Abbott, who was forced out with an injury after featuring in the first Test.

The South African selectors will be naming the squad for the final two Tests prior to Thursday and is likely to name Vernon Philander among the probables though the 30-year-old is yet to fully recover from the ankle injury which had forced him off the four-Test series against India towards the end of 2015.

He is likely to feature for his provincial side in the round of first-class matches that begin on January 14 – the same day on which the third Test begins – with the selectors likely to assess his fitness and form before including him in the playing eleven for the fourth Test.

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