Dubai: South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has been rested for the first two one-day internationals against Pakistan while former Proteas coach Gary Kirsten will join the team as batting 'mentor' for part of the five-match series. The series begins in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Cricket South Africa said Sunday that Steyn will fly back home before returning for the third one-day international in Abu Dhabi on November 6. Steyn tightened his hamstring during practice last week but played in the second test which South Africa won by an innings and 92 runs on Saturday to level the two-match series 1-1.
Kirsten will join the Proteas for five days during the break between the second ODI in Dubai on Friday and the third match in Abu Dhabi on November 6. Abu Dhabi also hosts the fourth ODI two days later before the series returns to Sharjah for the fifth and final ODI on November 11.
Kirsten, the former South Africa opening batsman, successfully coached the India team which won the last 50-over World Cup at home in 2011. South Africa wants to benefit from Kirsten's experience to prepare for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
"Gary is a World Cup winning coach and it would be naive for us not to tap into his wisdom," team manager Mohammed Moosajee said. "We have a crop of young batsmen in the squad we feel will gain a lot of insight from his vast batting experience and knowledge."
South Africa's leading batsman Hashim Amla is also yet to join the squad as he flew back home after the first test defeat in Dubai earlier this month to be with his pregnant wife.
Middle order batsman Colin Ingram has been placed on standby in case Amla does not rejoin the team.