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Dale Steyn's comeback plan delayed further

Dale Steyn has not recovered from a heel injury
Dale Steyn has not recovered from a heel injury
©REUTERS
 

South Africa's hope of drafting pace spearhead Dale Steyn in the third Test against Australia in Newlands has vanished after he failed to make sufficient progress from a heel injury.

Steyn, who suffered a shoulder fracture during the Perth Test against Australia in November 2016 made a comeback after almost a year during the first Test against India in Cape Town in January and bowled just 17.3 overs in the first innings before leaving the field with a heel injury.

With Kagiso Rabada not available for South Africa's final two Tests against Australia following a ban by the International Cricket Council for a breach of conduct, it was expected that Steyn might make a return for the third Test but a statement from Cricket South Africa has confirmed that the 34-year-old will continue to remain on the sidelines and is now targetting a return for the 22nd March game for Titans.

Rabada's ban and Steyn's unavailability means Morne Morkel is likely to get another chance after he was left out of the second Test for Lungi Ngidi.

Morkel, who has announced that he will retire at the end of the ongoing series needs three more scalps to reach the 300-wicket milestone.

Chris Morris and Duanne Olivier are also in contention to take Rabada's place in the squad for the third Test that kicks-off on 22nd March.

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