Why the Proteas will miss Steyn

2015-11-24 17:55
Dale Steyn (AP)

Cape Town - Despite doing his utmost to recover in time, Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the third Test against India starting in Nagpur on Wednesday.

A closer look at the stats will help explain why the Proteas will miss their main strike bowler.

Both Steyn and Morne Morkel have played in six Test matches in India, but Steyn has taken 26 wickets to Morkel's 12. Steyn averages 21.38 per wicket while Morkel has struggled, going for 42.91.

It means that the Proteas go into Wednesday's match without the only seam bowler they have on tour with any proven success in India.

But with reports this week suggesting that a Mohali-esque dust bowl awaits the sides in Nagpur, the Proteas may be tempted to play as many of their spinners as possible. 

The top six of the batting order looks settled even if most aren't performing, while Dane Vilas should keep the gloves at No 7. 

That leaves four spots for the bowlers - with Dean Elgar and JP Duminy to turn the arm over as well - and the Proteas brains trust have a lot to think about in getting the balance right in their bid for 20 wickets. 

If the wicket is going to be as dry and lifeless (for the quicks, anyway) as we expect, then it is hard to see them going in with one specialist spinner and three seamers this time around, and a two-two split seems likely.

Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abbott are newcomers to Test cricket, never mind Test cricket in India, while Imran Tahir, Simon Harmer and Dane Piedt are also on their maiden Indian Test tours.

The Proteas go into the match 1-0 down in the four-match series.

Play starts at 06:00 (SA time).

Read more on:    proteas  |  dale steyn  |  cricket

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