Playing against all the odds, Royal Challengers Bangalore have somehow managed to still be in the contention for the Playoffs. Having lost 7 of the opening 8 games, RCB are on a three-match winning streak. A big reason for their stunning comeback is the timely arrival of South African bowler Dale Steyn.
However, it has been revealed that the veteran pacer will be out for the remaining IPL campaign due to a serious shoulder injury. This can prove to be a major blow to Kohli & Co.’s chances of making it to the last 4.
Before 2019, the last IPL Steyn played was for Gujarat Lions in 2016 wherein he went back due to a shoulder injury. He missed 2017 and 2018 IPLs to focus on his recovery.
In 2019, he was back in form and the RCB’s decision to take him back proved beneficial to them. However, Steyn was himself a replacement for injured Nathan Coulter-Nile in the RCB squad, played only two matches but changed fortunes for the team.
After two matches, he sat out for the clash against Kings XI Punjab as he experienced a discomfort while playing the match against the Chennai Super Kings.
The chairman of RCB, Sanjeev Churiwala said “Dale Steyn has been prescribed with ample rest due to inflammation in his shoulder. On account of the state of his health, Dale will not be available to take part further in the ongoing season of IPL.”
“His presence has helped the team immensely and we are very thankful for the inspiration and passion that he brought to the squad. The team will deeply miss his energy and presence around. We wish him a speedy recovery and all the luck for all future endeavors,” the chairman said.
According to rules, no replacements are allowed after seven matches, therefore RCB will have to continue with what all they have. Also with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 only five weeks away, Steyn will have to get the injury assessed and recovered before the team departs on May 19.
South Africa team manager, Dr. Mohammed Moosajee said, “Dale felt discomfort after playing his second match at the tournament.”
He further added “Upon assessment and subsequent investigations, a flare-up of his right shoulder was confirmed. With the World Cup around the corner, it is our priority to get him back to full fitness before the squad departs on May 19. He will consult with a shoulder specialist upon his return and a recovery plan will be put in place.”
RCB next take on Delhi Capitals on Sunday.