Dale Steyn unlikely for Bangladesh series; targets T20 Global League for comeback
What's the story?
South African pace legend Dale Steyn has been almost ruled out of the upcoming series against Bangladesh. Disclosing that the 34-year-old fast bowler had developed a muscle complication in his injury-plagued right shoulder, Proteas manager Mohammed Moosajee confirmed that the seasoned campaigner is now targeting the inaugural edition of the T20 Global League for his comeback.
"Last week, Dale (Steyn) developed a strain to the muscle in his right troublesome shoulder. We’re not going to set an artificial timeline for Dale Steyn. The plan now is to get him ready for competitive cricket when he is ready. We’re hoping that it will be a slow and graduated return to full intensity bowling and in reality, the target will only probably be for the T20 Global League in November," Moosajee revealed during the unveiling ceremony of South Africa's new head coach Ottis Gibson in Johannesburg.
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Steyn hobbled off the field during the second day of the 2016 Perth Test between Australia and South Africa in November. Subsequent scans indicated that he had suffered a fracture in his right shoulder.
The heart of the matter
Upon successfully undergoing a surgery to remedy the injury, Steyn went through an extended period of rehabilitation. Even though he had initially targeted the June tour of England for his comeback, the veteran abandoned those ambitious plans as he was not fully prepared to take such a risk at a premature stage.
Steyn subsequently affirmed that he was targeting the start of South Africa's 2017/18 home season for his international return. However, the latest setback has effectively ruled him out of the Bangladesh series and postponed his comeback, to the T20 Global League.
South Africa will have to make do without Steyn for the 2-Test series against Bangladesh. Seamer Vernon Philander will also be absent for the opening Test which is slated to begin on September 28 at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.
The T20 Global League will kick start on November 3rd and Steyn will represent Cape Town Knight Riders.
With just five wickets needed to overtake Shaun Pollock and become South Africa's all-time leading wicket-taker in Tests, Steyn will be looking to achieve the landmark during the home series against India early next year.
Having played at the highest level for so long, Steyn knows his body better than anyone. Therefore, it is indeed a wise decision to skip the Bangladesh series and make a comeback in the T20 Global League. The marquee series against India in January 2018 stands as a fitting occasion for the iconic pacer to return to the international arena.