Injured Dale Steyn doubtful for CT opener against India

Updated: June 5, 2013, 7:18 PM IST
Injured Dale Steyn doubtful for CT opener against India

Cardiff: South Africa captain AB de Villiers tried to put up a brave front as he informed that his premier fast bowler Dale Steyn is a doubtful starter against India in the opening group league encounter of the Champions Trophy here on Thursday.

Steyn is suffering from a side strain and pulled out after bowling just five overs during a warm-up match against Pakistan at The Oval on Monday.

"He (Steyn) is not looking good at all. We will reassess tonight and again tomorrow morning and it's still touch and go. It's not only one game and won't like to risk him," De Villiers said on Wednesday.

De Villiers however said he wasn't too worried with Steyn's absence.

"We have the experience and the energy to do our best. Against India, we will come out like a pack of wolves," he said.

Stating that the first 10-15 overs in every game will be crucial in the tournament, De Villiers said they are aware about the pros and cons of the Indian players.

"We know a lot of about each player in their camp and we surely have our plans for them," he said.

South Africa have former Indian coach Gary Kirsten as their team boss. Quite a few players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli, who were part of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad, still remain the backbone of the Indian squad here at the Champions Trophy. This will be Kirsten's last assignment as coach of the South African national team.

De Villiers said winning will depend on how well India or South Africa play as a team.

"It's not about individuals. We have to play as a team and we are a set one and I am very happy with the combination we have," he said.

South Africa won the inaugural edition in Dhaka in 1998 and the Proteas will be keen to take home trophy in what will be the last edition.

"The team in 1998 was a great one. Kallis can never be replaced but there is lot of energy in this young team and we have a fair bit of experience in (Hashim) Amla, (JP) Duminy, (Morne) Morkel and me. I surely like to take the trophy back home," De Villiers said.

First Published: June 5, 2013, 7:18 PM IST

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