The Indian cricket team is all pumped up for the series against South Africa in January. The contingent boarding the flight also comprises four rookie net bowlers to ensure disciplined training. But the Proteas could spoil the party; the quality side, known for producing deadly pacers, is all set to welcome Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel back into their side for the high profile series.

Most of the South African pacers sat out this season owing to injuries. “But all our pacers are back and free of injuries now,” confirmed Dr Shuaib Manjra, the head of Cricket South Africa medical committee.

Steyn — who wreaked havoc in India’s last tour (in 2013) — flaunting figures like 3/25 and 3/17 in the two ODI matches, followed by a 6/100 and 3/47 in the second Test, all won by South Africa, is raring to make a comeback. The 34-year-old nursed his shoulder injury for over a year and played his first domestic match, for the Titans in the domestic T20 competition, last month. “As you can see, he has started playing. He played a few games for the Titans in our domestic T20 competition. But we are also trying to rest him in between matches, so that he stays fit before India arrives. We want to make sure he is not over-bowling,” added Dr Manjra. Steyn picked up five wickets in the six games he played so far in the T20 fixture.

Even Morne Morkel, who was out due to a side strain since October, has resumed bowling. The right-arm fast bowler returned with figures of 2/25 for the Titans against Dolphins last week. “Most of our fast bowlers are likely to feature in the one-off Test against Zimbabwe later this month. They will be ready before the India series; even Vernon Philander is back to action,” he revealed.

Steyn and Chris Morris will also feature in the three-day match (representing South African Invitational XI) against Zimbabwe in Paarl on December 20. It will mark his return to the longer format. The squad will also feature AB de Villiers and Temba Bavuma among others.

India tour of South Africa (Fixtures)

First Test: Jan 05-09, Newlands, Cape Town
Second Test: Jan 13-17, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Third Test: Jan 24-28, New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

First ODI: Feb 01, Kingsmead, Durban
Second ODI: Feb 04, SuperSport Park, Centurion
Third ODI: Feb 07, Newlands, Cape Town
Fourth ODI: Feb 10, New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Fifth ODI: Feb 13, St George's Park, Port Elizabeth
Sixth ODI: Feb 16, SuperSport Park, Centurion

First T20I: Feb 18, New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
2nd T20I: Feb 21, SuperSport Park, Centurion