South Africa's ace pacer Dale Steyn, who made a return to Test cricket after 14 months, has picked up a heel injury during the second day of the recently concluded first Test against India in Cape Town on Saturday (January 6). The veteran speedster sustained a tissue damage on his left heel which ruled him out of action for the next 4-6 weeks.
Considering the magnitude of Steyn’s injury, there were plenty of speculations whether the paceman will come out to bat in South Africa’s second innings or not. Amidst the alien conditions on Day 4 when the Proteas batting was falling apart in front of the fiery Indian fast bowlers, Steyn took everyone by surprise as he came out to bat limping.
Although Steyn didn’t trouble the scorers after facing 4 deliveries, his courage has certainly drawn a lot of admiration from the cricket fanatics on social media.
Dale Steyn coming out to bat with a bruised heel is such an act of bravery. What resolve. Take a bow, fighter.— Soumya R Mohanty (@isoumyamohanty) January 8, 2018
Dale Steyn is walking on crutches becausw he is not allowed to put any kind of weight on his injured heel. I wonder how he managed to come out to bat even for the 5 brief minutes without crutches.— Shubh AggarWall (@shubh_chintak) January 9, 2018
GREAT COMMITMENT!! #SAvIND
After registering a 72-run victory over India, Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis revealed that Steyn was padded up to go out there in the middle even before the matter could be discussed with him.
"We said if by any chance AB is still there, Dale can just go and just stand there and hopefully AB can smash a few sixes. The plan wasn't to get him to bat and injure him more," du Plessis said while addressing the media after the game.
"He was padded up before we spoke about this to him. I feel incredibly bad for Dale. He worked for over a year. He was challenged through periods where he started and got injured again, and then started and got injured again," added the South Africa captain.
Steyn will be on crutches for the next few days to avoid putting any stress on his injured left heel. He was applauded throughout his five-minute unbeaten stay at the crease and was later asked in the press conference if he felt like former South African captain Graeme Smith, who went out to bat with a broken hand against Australia in 2009 Sydney Test.
"It was not that bad but there was no running involved. It's not quite a Graeme Smith walking out with a broken hand moment, but I'll claim it anyway," Steyn amusingly said in the media conference.