Dale Steyn was all set to make his comeback to serious cricket after more than a year out of the game with injury after being named in a 13-man Titans squad for a domestic Twenty20 match against Knights, to be played in Kimberley on Wednesday.
Steyn, 34, has not played since pulling out with a stress fracture in his right shoulder on the second day of the first Test against Australia on November 4, 2016.
“I am ready to go. Yes, I haven’t played in a year, but there are no massive expectations. I am just looking forward to playing again and feeling part of the game,” said Steyn to the Titans website on Tuesday (November 14) after being named in the squad.
“I’m not asking people to sit back and think I’m going to bowl at 150kmh and that I’m going to take five wickets. If I can get through the game with minimal damage in terms of economy rate and pick up a wicket or two that would be great.”
Steyn currently has 417 Test wickets, five away from overhauling Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s leading all-time wicket-taker in the five-day game.
He recently received the backing of Ottis Gibson, the newly appointed South Africa coach, who indicated that a fit Steyn would walk into the Test side.
“He is Dale Steyn,” said Gibson last month. “He is not some average guy from down the road. He is one of the best bowlers the country has ever produced. If you look him in the eyes and you say, ‘Dale, are you sure you can make it?’ and he says he can make it, then he is getting the opportunity.”
South Africa’s next Test engagement is the one-off Boxing Day game – of four days – against Zimbabwe in Port Elizabeth, followed by the three-Test series against India starting in Cape Town on January 5 next year.