The South Africa-India Test series is set to begin on the 5th of January in Cape Town. Both sides have been focussing on extensive training sessions before the 1st Test and have been racking their brains in order to get the right combination on the park.
South African coach, Ottis Gibson, has said that Dale Steyn is not a certain starter for the first test, having been out of the game for a very long period.
“He’s had a year off,” said Gibson.
Steyn could have made his comeback appearance in the Test against Zimbabwe, but a virus prevented him from taking the field. He could have got some much needed match practice under his belt in the Zimbabwe Test, but that didn’t pan out well for him and the South African team.
The South African team now have a major selection headache with respect to Steyn. Ideally you would want Steyn to have some match time before such a big series, and only then get him into the XI.
Also, Steyn’s record in his last 5 Test matches for South Africa hasn’t been great, as he has broken down in 3 of them, unable to provide South Africa with his bowling services.
“I wouldn’t think that if you were to pick a three-man seam attack plus a spinner that you would want to put him into that three-man attack in case something happened. It would leave you too vulnerable in case he doesn’t finish a game.” said Gibson.
Gibson though conceded that South Africa could go into the Test with 4 seamers, if the pitch seemed to be a seaming one.
“He might well play this weekend, depending on the make-up of the team,” said Gibson.
The South African coach is extremely happy with how the Newlands pitch looks at the moment.
“It’s got a nice covering of grass and it looks quite hard and firm. That’s how we like it.” said Gibson.
While India have a major headache to solve with respect to who will play the number 6 role in the team, with one from Rohit Sharma or Hardik Pandya set to take up the spot.