Champions Trophy 2013 June 9, 2013

Injured Steyn likely to miss Pakistan game


AB de Villiers has admitted that Dale Steyn is unlikely to be available for South Africa's vital Champions Trophy clash against Pakistan at Edgbaston on Monday.

Steyn sustained a side strain during the warm-up game against Pakistan on June 3. With Morne Morkel ruled out of the tournament with a quad strain, and Jacques Kallis missing the event for personal reasons, it has left South Africa lacking experienced bowlers for what will almost certainly prove a must-win game.

"It's not looking good," de Villers said. "The chances are that Steyn will only be ready for the last group game. We're still hanging on to that last little bit of hope that he could wake up in the morning and do a bit of a fitness test and look good for the game, but it's not looking good at all."

With the pitch for the game expected to be dry and abrasive, there may be a temptation for South Africa to field both specialist spinners in their squad. But de Villiers hinted that they will retain the same balance of the side that lost to India, with Chris Morris likely to make his ODI debut in place of Morkel, and the likes of JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis providing spin support to Robin Peterson as required.

"Chris is doing well," de Villiers said. "He looks really fresh. He has impressed us all at the IPL. In the last year, he's been amazing. He's full of confidence and a guy that we really enjoy having around. You know, we were unlucky to have Morne and Dale injured, but to have a guy like Chris replace them is really pleasing.

"Watching the game between Australia and England, which looks like a similar wicket that we're playing on, the one spinner from England, James Tredwell, bowled really well. But I thought it was the seamers that really started reversing the ball there towards the end. There was a bit of swing and that really restricted the batsmen and made them look like they can't get it off the square.

"So it's a tough one. Playing two spinners is not a bad option. But looking at the spinners in our squad - Aaron Phangiso and Peterson - they're very similar kind of bowlers. They are both left-arm, so it doesn't give us a lot of variation. We've got either JP Duminy and one of either Phangiso or Peterson, which should be good enough variation."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • karthik on June 10, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    Guys, hold on....let me tell you something for those who are talking about adding umar akmal into the XI...first of all he is not in the squad.please talk about including or excluding players who are available for selection....Also both these teams played only one match and it's too early to drop players considering one bad performance....eventhough it's a crucial match and loser will be out...let's stick to the same team and hope for good result...

  • Sachin on June 10, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    Pakistan Should have brought this team 1. Nasir Jamshed 2. Ahmed Shezad 3. Azhar Ali 4. Asad Shafiq 5. Misbah-ul-haq 6. Umar Akmal 7. Abdul Razzaq 8. Shahid Afredi 9. Mohd Hafeez, 10. Saeed Ajmal 11. Junaid Khan 12. Mohd Irfan 13. Asad Ali 14. Wahab Riaz 15. Kamran Akmal, instead of them they have mess with there team and have brought players like Farhat and Malik. Pakistan should plan properly and look after the fitness of two guiniuene allrounders of there team Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afredi and let play til 2015 world cup to built the team for next generation and one more thing Hafeez is a waste outside subcontinent he will not be the key batsmen you are looking for to open in next world instead play him as allrounder and down the order.

  • Rayhan on June 10, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    Do anythign but don't drop Shafiq. Let him establish at this spot, maybe 15-20 innings. If he still doesn't do anything, then drop him, but for now please don't. If Imran Farhat and Shoaib Malik can play, then anyone else deserves a chance. I can't understand why people are after Shafiq. He's played a few games yes, but he's been shuffled in the batting order and that is not a batsmean needs, they need assurance of their position and then they can establish themselves. Please leave him alone.

  • Omarr on June 10, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    @ jb633--> you've got to see the squad first and then provide your suggestions.

  • Nagraj on June 10, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    Chris will do much better in Eng conditions. He was bit short in IPL leaking few runs in the beginning, but the same length will be a testing one in bouncy swinging English pitches. Duminy's spell was fantastic in the other day, was the difference between 330 to 350 for India. Faf should be given some chance in the top order. By the time he came, the match was almost with India last time. He can be explosive in the top order.

  • Dummy4 on June 10, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    @TheProfPak Asad Shafiq is a very promising test batsman but he was never a good ODI batsman (check his records). On the other hand, Umar Akmal is still our highest ranked ODI batsman.

  • Jon on June 9, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    South Africa are there for the taking. The moment they are talking about playing two spinners Pakistan become big favourites. I said it months ago that South Africa were only two injuries away from being very average. They have 4 injuries and the biggest two are Steyn and Morkel. That seam attack is very ordinary without their two guns (as any side's would be) and they have not produced a proper spinners since ...... they have never produced a proper spinner. South Africa are the best side on a seaming deck, no two ways about it, they have the best batsman in the world (Amla) and the best seamer (Steyn). However Peterson is a roller of the ball and not a proper spinner. Duminy gives the ball more of a tweak and he was brilliant against India. I would ditch Peterson, or use him as a batting all rounder, and use Phangiso. I think Pakistan need to ditch Farhat and open with Hafeez. Bring Misbah up to 3 and slot Umar Akmal in at 6/7

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    no way buddy.. Asad is the only technical and sound batsman in the team .. and i hope he will perform .. umar akmal should be in place of shoaib malik ... and please find another Keeper for Pakistan .. Sarfaraz is much much better than Kamran

  • Adnan on June 9, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    @Rana Rana: Mate are you serious? Umar Akmal instead of Asad shafiq!!! This lad is a future prospect (most technically correct batsman in current team). Yes, I do agree that Umar Akmal should be in the team but not on expense of Asad, but in place of Shoaib Malik. Azhar Ali would have been a better option than Imran Farhat to provide stability at the top of order in English condition. Poor selection.......

  • Dummy4 on June 9, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    I don't think droping a specialist medium pacer for a spinner good idea for SA. They have duminy, peterson to do spin. Faf may also do that. Pakistan is weak ahainst fast bowling. :its day night game and forecast is not that warm or too sunny,