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Page last updated at 17:23 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

South Africa may rest paceman Dale Steyn for final ODI

Fifth one-day international: South Africa v England
Date: Friday 4 December (1230 GMT) Venue: Kingsmead, Durban
Coverage: Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW and BBC Sport website from 1215 GMT; live text commentary online and on mobile phones; television coverage on Sky Sports 2 from 1200 GMT


Dale Steyn
Steyn made his international debut against England in December 2004

South Africa may decide not to risk premier fast bowler Dale Steyn for the final match of the one-day series against England in Durban on Friday.

The home side need a win to square the series but Steyn has a hamstring injury and missed Sunday's seven-wicket loss.

An MRI scan showed only a minor grade one tear but he is likely to be rested ahead of the first Test on 16 December.

"For us the priority is the Tests and we'd never compromise Dale's chances for that," coach Mickey Arthur said.

The South Africans are already without key all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who has had an injection in his injured rib and is rated only 50-50 to be fit for the opening Test at Centurion.

Arthur brought his players back into the nets a day earlier than originally scheduled after they were bowled out for 119 on Sunday, their lowest ever one-day international total on home soil.

"I didn't think we could justify two days off after a performance like that," he said.

606: DEBATE
SAIDIAN

"The home truths have been spoken, and now it is a matter of building the team up to try to square the series.

"But we're certainly not going to panic. We think we've got the best players here and we're confident we can bounce back."

One man under some scrutiny is the usually prolific JP Duminy who has made 53 runs in the first three games, 41 of those in the opening match.

Both of the left-hander's most recent dismissals have come from short deliveries but Arthur insisted there was no problem with bouncers.

"Australia tried it as well when they came back to South Africa (earlier this year when South Africa won 3-2 and Duminy averaged 25), and he overcame that and played well.

"I don't think it's the short ball that generally troubles him - I think it's scoring off it.

"He'll be fine. He just needs one knock - and he'll be away. He's genuine quality, we see a huge future with him."

Meanwhile, England wicketkeeper Matt Prior has paid tribute to the England management hierarchy of captain Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower.

"The team is just going from strength to strength, and it's a pleasure to be part of it," said the 27-year-old Sussex keeper/batsman.

"It's great fun, just really enjoyable. I've been on tours before where it's been hard work, you've really missed home - and each day has dragged. That is really not the case here.

"You've got a squad of guys all pulling together, in the same direction - and wanting to win this series - and passionate about that.

"It's absolutely fantastic. Everything's just gone up three or four levels, and I think that's showing in our performance on the pitch."


England (from): AJ Strauss (captain), IJL Trott, KP Pietersen, EJG Morgan, PD Collingwood, MJ Prior (wk), LJ Wright, TT Bresnan, AU Rashid, SCJ Broad, JM Anderson, GP Swann, SI Mahmood, JC Tredwell.

South Africa (from): GC Smith (captain), HH Gibbs, HM Amla, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, AN Petersen, MV Boucher (wk), R McLaren, RE van der Merwe, WD Parnell, DW Steyn, CK Langeveldt, JA Morkel, M Morkel.



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see also
Anderson leads England to victory
29 Nov 09 |  England
England fall to crushing defeat
27 Nov 09 |  England
Strauss sees signs of improvement
27 Nov 09 |  England
Collingwood inspires England win
22 Nov 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England


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