South Africa’s bid to register a consolation win and reduce the losing margin in the Delhi Test, starting on Thursday, was dealt a severe blow as on Wednesday their premier fast bowler Dale Steyn was ruled out of the fourth and final match too.
Steyn played only in the first Test in Mohali but suffered a groin strain and missed the next three games.
India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the third match in Nagpur, after the washout in Bangalore. India had won the first match in Mohali. With this series win, India have ended South Africa’s nine-year winning streak in away Test series.
Skipper Hashim Amla said that since South Africa are set to host England soon, the team management thought that it would be wise to let Steyn take some rest.
“I can confirm that Dale Steyn is not going to play this Test match. He has been such an impact player for us. The selectors have not yet decided on his replacement,” Amla told the mediapersons at the Ferozeshah Kotla.
It is expected that either Kyle Abbott or Merchant de Lange might be inducted into playing XI in case Proteas don’t want to go with the same side that played in Nagpur.
Steyn failed a fitness test on Wednesday and he now needs to undergo further rehabilitation.
India captain Virat Kohli, who will be leading India for the first time in his home city, said that his team was not satisfied with a 2-0 lead. He said they will be “ruthless”.
“We want to be ruthless in terms of mindset. We are not satisfied with two-nil. If we have any chance to go three-nil, we try to achieve that by giving our 100 percent,” said Kohli on Thursday.
Kohli said that his batsmen had failed to apply themselves so far in the series and this match is a chance rectify the anomaly.
“We haven’t applied ourselves properly. Partnerships are the key. We have lost wickets at wrong times. It has been just two test matches. It is not like we have done that regularly. We played really well after the Galle Test [against hosts Sri Lanka],” he said.
“So it is just the matter of getting into that mindset and make sure that people want to bat four sessions for the team and make sure that we extend our partnerships from 70 to 120 or 150-plus. That is how strong teams perform in Test cricket. That has been lacking from our end in this series,” Kohli added.