Starting from Anil Kumble’s bowling with a broken jaw to Graeme Smith’s batting with a broken hand, cricket history has been filled with many moments of heroism. Dale Steyn, today, added one more chapter to the popular narrative as he came out to bat despite suffering a severe heel injury.
Brave, heroic, and stoic - a few adjectives grabbed headlines back in 2009 after Graeme Smith went out to bat at the Sydney Cricket Ground with a broken hand after Dale Steyn was trapped LBW by Andrew McDonald. He fought with courage but was only successful in delaying the inevitable for four more overs. However, the former South African skipper would surely have been proud of the man he replaced on that gloomy day in Sydney or at least, Cape Town fans surely were.
Steyn sustained serious tissue damage to his left heel in what was termed a "freakish injury", and left the field of play before Tea on the second day of the first Test. He subsequently went for scans that revealed the extent of the damage and that ruled him out for "4-6 weeks", which gave rise to the belief that the pacer wouldn’t come out to bat in the second innings of the game. But everyone, including the Television commentators, was in for a surprise as Steyn padded up to fight it out to extend the lead for some time.
After Keshav Maharaj’s dismissal, Morne Morkel came out to bat and suddenly, the TV camera panned towards the dressing room as Steyn was getting on his pads to take the extra pressure on his heel to save his team from blushes. That was sufficient for the Newlands fans to manifold their respect for the legendary bowler and when he finally came out to bat, they erupted in cheering for one of the mighty figures of the South African cricket.
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