JOHANNESBURG - Proteas coach Ottis Gibson confirmed on Tuesday that the 15-man squad assembled in Cape Town ahead of the three-match Test series against India is fit and ready to go, but that fast bowler Dale Steyn is still a doubt.
Captain Faf du Plessis and Steyn both missed the one-off day-night four-day Test match against Zimbabwe last year, which ended inside two days, with the Proteas claiming an emphatic innings and 120-run victory. Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock was also under an injury cloud, after he pulled up with a hamstring injury while batting late on Day 1 of the Zimbabwe Test, while AB de Villiers’ back was also of concern.
Gibson confirmed at a press conference at Newlands, that Du Plessis and Steyn have recovered from their illnesses, and that De Kock will retain his place behind the stumps and De Villiers’ back will be okay for the first Test match.
"Faf is over the illness that kept him out of the Zimbabwe game and Quinton’s hamstring is fine also," said Gibson.
Gibson said that Steyn could feature in the game, but it will depend on the composition of the bowling attack that they will pick.
"He's had a year off, I wouldn't think that if you were to pick a three-man seam attack plus a spinner that you would want to put him into that three-man attack in case something happened. It would leave you too vulnerable in case he doesn't finish a game."
The first of three Test matches against India gets underway on 5 January at Newlands in Cape Town.
This article first appeared on EWN : Gibson: Steyn won’t be risked for first Test against India