Proteas suffer Steyn setback

 

By Ryan Moran

  • South Africa fast bowler to miss second test with a shoulder injury from the first test.
  • James Anderson likely to recover from a calf injury.
  • England lead the series 1-0 following a 241 run win in Durban.

Cape Town, South Africa- The hosts suffer a major setback ahead of the second test, star bowler Dale Steyn ruled out because of a shoulder injury.

After a resounding victory in Durban for England, the news that Steyn will be unable to take to the Newlands field. The shoulder injury the fast bowler sustained in the England’s second innings means Kagiso Rabada will fill the large void left by the second best bowler in test cricket, ranked by the ICC.

Rabada, a relative newcomer to the longer format, burst onto the international scene with a hat-trick in his debut ODI against Bangladesh, taking the best figures on debut with 6-16. The right arm fast bowler made his test debut in Mohali, India, in the series defeat, Virat Kohli his first wicket on his debut finishing with figures of 1-30. Rabada’s pace and accuracy was a surprise to many considering he is only 20 years old and already regularly featuring on the international stage in the shorter formats.

While this change was forced through injury, Hashim Amla is also contemplating making more changes ahead of the second test in Cape Town. AB De Villiers’ wicket keeping position seems to be under threat with Amla keen to let De Villiers concentrate on his batting with Quinton De Kock likely to replace him behind the stumps. However, this change would mean someone losing their place, JP Duminy the likely choice. Speaking to the ECB, Amla said:

“Quinton being here gives us the option of him keeping and batting at six or seven but we still have to make a call on whose position he takes,”

“It gives us the option of getting Quinny in and taking a load off AB.”

Kyle Abbott also remains a doubt with a hamstring injury, uncapped Hardus Viljoen already called up to the squad as cover. Viljoen most recently played first class cricket for the Lions, taking 6-44 and 4-79 against the Warriors in Johannesburg. Amla spoke of the decision to call the fast bowler up to the squad as a precaution, with Abbott’s replacement between Viljoen and Chris Morris. Morris would be the safer choice having featured on the international circuit in both the T20 and ODI formats, unlike Viljoen.

Due to the scale of victory, it is unlikely England will make changes. Nevertheless if James Anderson recovers from his calf injury, both Trevor Bayliss and Alastair Cook will make changes to make room for their star bowler. With Chris Woakes being brought into the side to replace Anderson in Durban, that seems to be the likely change. The fast bowler has been training with the side but the decision will be a late call. It is clear that Anderson will be added to the 12-man squad. Cook spoke to the ECB about the decision:

“The XI that played in Durban did a pretty good job but when you have someone like him and his wickets, if he is fit to go, he will play.”

The bowling attack ripped through the hosts’ batting line up in their second innings, Steven Finn and Moeen Ali prominent in that regard. Moeen’s dismissal of De Villiers with only the third ball on the final day had England on the front foot to push towards victory, Finn’s three wickets in the last session on day four set up the rout on the last day, taking the wicket of Steyn on the final day also. Stuart Broad stepped up to the plate in the absence of Anderson also, taking five wickets over the two innings, his only wicket in the second innings securing victory.

In the batting department, the captain will be looking to improve on his seven runs over two innings in Durban. His opening partner Alex Hales has also been unimpressive, scoring 10 and 26 in partnerships of three and 13 with Cook shows the opening issue is still unresolved.

The pair have been rescued twice by the form of the middle order, Nick Compton and Jonny Bairstow in particular. Both batsman steadied the ship at different points of the innings as wickets fell around them, the pair having a 51 run stand before Compton was eventually dismissed. In the second innings, Bairstow’s quick innings of 79 off 76 balls helped to build a high enough score to leave enough time to take the ten South African wickets needed for victory.

Success in Cape Town will put the tourists in a good position to secure a second test victory on their 15th attempt overseas and also avoid defeat in the series.

England and South Africa travel to Cape Town for the second test of a four match series which the Three Lions lead 1-0.

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