Cape Town – Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson admitted that although fast bowler Dale Steyn is “rusty”, his selection would be hard to avoid for this week’s first Test against Sri Lanka.
The Proteas plays two Tests against Sri Lanka in Galle on Thursday and the second in Colombo from July 20.
Steyn will be hoping to play his first international since the first Test against India at Newlands in January.
The 35-year-old fast bowler has an impressive record in Sri Lanka – taking 21 wickets in four Test matches.
Gibson admitted that Steyn’s experience in Sri Lanka is a plus, however all depends on his fitness.
“I’m happy with where Dale is at because he was playing in England,” Gibson said.
“He came into the practice match and he looked a little bit rusty, I’m not going to lie. But we’re talking about one of the best fast bowlers of the modern generation.
“He knows what he needs to do to get himself up for a Test match and we’ve had a little chat today about what he needs to do for the remainder of the days building up to the Test match,” said the Proteas coach.
“He’ll be good to go by the time the Galle Test comes around.”
Steyn has taken 419 wickets in his 86 Tests to date and requires just two more scalps in order to pass Shaun Pollock as South Africa’s leading all-time Test bowler.
The first of two Tests gets under way on Thursday at 06:30 SA time.
Proteas Test squad:
Faf du Plessis (Titans, captain), Hashim Amla (Cape Cobras), Temba Bavuma (Cape Cobras), Quinton de Kock (Titans), Theunis de Bruyn (Titans), Dean Elgar (Titans), Heinrich Klaasen (Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Titans), Lungisani Ngidi (Titans), Vernon Philander (Cape Cobras), Kagiso Rabada (Highveld Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Titans), Dale Steyn (Titans), Shaun von Berg (Titans)