Cricket South Africa have said that Dale Steyn was not "medically ready" to be selected for South Africa's upcoming tour to India. Steyn announced his retirement from Test cricket last week, turning his focus entirely to limited overs cricket, but was one of the notable absentees when the T20I squad for the trip to India was announced on Tuesday.
Another player missing from the T20 squad was allrounder Chris Morris, whose national contract expired after the World Cup and who did not make himself available for selection for the tour. But it appears that Steyn thought himself available for selection, taking to Twitter to write: "I did … obviously lost my number in the reshuffling of coaching staff."
Responding to a tweet from journalist Neil Manthorp, who dryly suggested that the selectors might be saving Steyn for "big" games, Steyn responded: "Apologies to Virat and a billion people for thinking they not."
I did... Obviously lost my number in the reshuffling of coaching staff.— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) August 13, 2019
Apologies to Virat and a billion people for thinking they not— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) August 13, 2019
However, CSA acting Director of Cricket Corrie van Zyl has suggested that Steyn was not yet fit enough to be selected for the tour. "He is not yet medically ready and our information makes that very clear," van Zyl told Sport24. Steyn aggravated an old injury in his right shoulder while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore - Kohli's team - in the IPL in May, and though he was named in South Africa's squad for the World Cup subsequently, he failed to recover in time and was ultimately ruled out.
Unlike Morris, Steyn is still contracted by CSA, having retained his national contract for the 2019-20 season in limited overs cricket. After the trip to India, South Africa's next limited overs engagements come at home against England in February 2020, with the limited overs leg of England's tour including three ODIs and three T20Is.
Steyn is not the only player upon whose fitness CSA are sweating, with Vernon Philander and Theunis de Bruyn - both named in the Test squad - currently recovering from injuries, Philander to his hamstring and de Bruyn his back.
"Both are on track, but they will have to play one match before the tour to prove that they are fully fit," van Zyl said.