Amla Out, Steyn To Face Late Fitness Test
Cricket South Africa have confirmed that Hashim Amla will miss the second Test against Pakistan and that Dale Steyn will face a fitness test on a tight hamstring.
Amla left the United Arab Emirates to be with his wife as she was expected to give birth to the couple's second child between the two Tests. However, as the baby has not yet arrived, he will not be able to return to Dubai in time for the game, which gets underway tomorrow (23rd October).
Steyn, meanwhile, missed training with a sore hamstring and although an MRI scan has ruled out any serious damage, he will face a fitness test ahead of the game.
"Hashim's wife hasn't given birth yet, so he won't be playing in tomorrow's Test match," team manager Dr. Mohammed Moosajee confirmed.
"Dale sustained what was initially thought to be a right hamstring strain but fortunately the MRI scan revealed that there was no major pathology so we are treating it as tightness.
"He will undergo a fitness test either this afternoon or the latest this morning. The challenge with a tight hamstring is the fear of aggravating it. It could easily become a strain or progress into a tear, so we will be managing it carefully especially with a long tour ahead of us."
South Africa lost the opening match by seven wickets and needing to win this game to avoid a series defeat, the potential absence of two of their star performers has come as a blow.
Amla scored a fine century in Abu Dhabi but lacked support while Steyn took four wickets in a match that Pakistan dominated for long periods, wrapping up victory in four days.
It was South Africa's first Test defeat in almost two years.
© Cricket World 2013