Nagpur: In two international matches at the VCA Stadium, Jamtha, Dale Steyn has taken 15 wickets — leading South Africa to victory in both games. While those numbers bring back great memories for South Africa, they are sweating over their premier paceman’s fitness ahead of the third Test against India at Nagpur.
Steyn bowled in the nets yesterday to lift the tourists’ spirits. “It’s a pleasing thing for us to see,” said Morne Morkel, the South African fast bowler. Steyn sustained a groin injury in the first Test in Mohali, which prevented him from bowling in the second essay. He then missed the rain-marred second Test at Bangalore.
Final call by Wednesday
South Africa are monitoring the situation and will take a call on Day One. “We’re monitoring it and have given him till 9 o’clock Wednesday morning to decide. Positive thing was that he was bowling today in the nets and was looking good,” Morkel said.
The last time South Africa played a Test at Nagpur, Steyn’s spell of seven for 51 helped them earn an innings victory. This after South Africa had amassed 558. His mastery was on show when he took on an in-form Sachin Tendulkar in the first innings — a remarkable duel that saw the paceman triumph. Tendulkar’s gritty century in the second essay went in vain. A year down the line, Steyn rocked India at the 2011 World Cup. Tendulkar’s century had put the hosts at a comfortable 267 for two in the 40th over. Steyn then sparked a collapse that saw India lose their last eight wickets for only 28 runs. His fifer was the difference between the two sides, with South Africa clinching victory in a dramatic last-over finale.