Ahead of its crucial game against India, South Africa woke up to the bad news of Dale Steyn being ruled out of the rest of the World Cup. The ICC’s event technical committee through a press-release stated: “Steyn has suffered a second shoulder injury which has not responded to treatment and has ruled him out of bowling for the foreseeable future. His replacement (Beurhan) Hendricks is a left-arm fast bowler.”

Later, the South African team manager Mohammed Moosajee explained: “Dale’s case has been unique. We know that upon his return from the IPL, due to shoulder discomfort he had numerous scans done which didn't reveal anything of significance, aside from chronic, inflammatory changes.

"However, upon our arrival into the United Kingdom, once he started bowling, a different problem emerged, what we call a shoulder impingement syndrome. He consulted an orthopaedic specialist in London, had an injection inserted into the problematic area which unfortunately did not resolve the symptoms. So a decision was made to replace him.”

Steyn has battled various injuries over the last two years and at 35, another round of rehabilitation and recovery, can be gut-wrenching for the speedster. He did bowl in the nets at the Hampshire Bowl here on Monday evening but with doubts persisting about his ability to sustain intensity during a second spell, the South African team management had no other choice but to seek a replacement.