Dale Steyn's return has been delayed again, this time indefinitely, after he suffered a set-back in his recovery with a strained muscle in his problematic shoulder. Vernon Philander has also been ruled out of the first Test, at least, with a back problem sustained in the recent 3-1 Test series loss in England, while all-rounder Chris Morris will miss both games also because of a back injury.
"We haven't played a lot of cricket. We need to make sure we're up to speed with the Bangladesh series." -O. Gibson— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) September 19, 2017
Promising youngster Lungi Ngidi, who burst onto the scene in Twenty20 cricket earlier this year, is also out until mid-October with a stress fracture in his back. It means Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel are the only two fit seamers with significant Test experience, leaving Duane Olivier, Wayne Parnell and Andile Phehlukwayo to likely fight over the other two positions in the side.
"We have a series against Bangladesh and they've become confidence over the years and we need to be ready." O. Gibson— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) September 19, 2017
Injuries aside, Gibson feels he has the players to return South Africa to the top of the Test ranking. "My philosophy over the next two years is taking the Proteas back to the top of the (Test) pile first of all, then hopefully winning the (2019) World Cup," he said.
First practice of Bangladesh Team at Benoni today after arriving in South Africa. pic.twitter.com/7yqqEBUnDp— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) September 18, 2017
"I'm lucky in a sense, the Proteas have been to No 1 in the world on a few occasions and not very long ago they were No 1 in the world." Gibson says he is well aware of Cricket South Africa's transformation targets that means the national side, across all formats, must select on average through the season six non-white players per game, two of whom must be black African.
Proteas bowler Dale Steyn ruled himself out of the opening #SunfoilSeries round next week & is thus unavailable for the Bangladesh series— SuperSport Blitz (@SuperSportBlitz) September 14, 2017
"That process has been happening before I got here‚" he said. "As far as team selection is concerned‚ we will continue on the path that we are on at the moment. The chairman of selectors and the captain have got a handle on that."
Proteas duo Vernon Philander & Chris Morris have been ruled out of the upcoming Test series with Bangladesh due to injuries. #SSCricket— SuperSport Blitz (@SuperSportBlitz) September 19, 2017