Faf du Plessis concedes that Dale Steyn might not have the pace he used to, but he still hopes he makes a comeback.
Steyn confirmed back in May that he was not going to be in contention for the tour of the UK due to the ongoing rehabilitation of the shoulder injury he sustained in the first Test against Australia in Perth last November.
That then allowed him to focus on the Bangladesh Test series at the end of September to make a comeback.
‘One of the reasons for me playing with the A side was so that I could get some match fitness before the Tests. So, before that Bangladesh series, I will need to play a bit,’ Steyn told ESPNCricinfo in May.
He suggested back then that playing for the SA A side, or playing some County cricket, would have been the chance to get in some game time. That has now been and gone after he wasn’t included in the SA A squad to face India A, and there’s no indication that he’ll be playing in the County Championship.
That’s obviously some cause for concern, and Proteas Test skipper Du Plessis shared that concern by admitting that we might not see the same Dale Steyn anymore.
‘It’s all about his injury,’ Du Plessis said of the broken bone Steyn sustained to his shoulder while bowling in that Test Down Under. ‘To come back and bowl 145-150km/h will make it a difficult task to play Test cricket again.
‘But I’m hoping he does come back because in England having his experience would have been as valuable as having Morne and Vern there.
‘You don’t replace those guys. I’m hoping he’ll make a return for us, especially in the Test team, but he’s got a lot of work to do to get back.’