South African pacer Dale Steyn has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect. The right-arm pacer played 93 Test matches for South Africa in which he scalped 439 wickets. In the previous Test match that Steyn played, he went past Kapil Dev’s record of 434 Test wickets in this format.
The news of Steyn calling it quits from the longest format does not come as a surprise. He was troubled with a long shoulder issue, that also ruled him out of World Cup 2019 without even playing a single contest.
Steyn’s Test career seemed to be done in 2016 when he suffered a broken shoulder against Australia in an away series. A year later, he made his comeback to the Test format but suffered bruised left heel right in the first Test (against India in January 2018).
He returned for away series against Sri Lanka series and was a consistent member of the team in ODIs and Tests. Steyn looked set to spearhead South Africa’s pace attack in World Cup 2019 but a shoulder injury suffered during two IPL matches that he played ruled him out of the tournament.
Steyn might have retired from Test cricket to extend his limited-overs career. He looks set to continue to bid for a place in the ODI squad and hence, Steyn retired from the longest format of the game to manage the workload issue.
Steyn made his Test debut against England in Port Elizabeth in 2004. In a career that spanned 93 Test matches, Steyn went on to become South Africa’s most successful pacer. In the home series against Pakistan last year, Steyn went past Shaun Pollock’s record of 421 Test wickets. His final Test came against Sri Lanka in Port Elizabeth.
With no Steyn in Test format now, Kagiso Rabada will be leading South Africa’s pace attack in the away series against India that takes place next month. He will be assisted by Lungi Ngidi and Vernon Philander. The absence of Steyn will also open up doors for new pacers to come in.