London [UK]: Ahead of the World Cup opening match against England, South Africa faced a setback as pacer Dale Steyn was ruled out because of a shoulder injury. Acknowledging this to be a ‘big loss’ to the team, skipper Faf du Plessis said they were anticipating this to happen.
“Yeah, it is a big loss to our team. We did expect it when we picked the squad. He wasn’t quite – probably about 60 per cent when the squad was picked; so we anticipated for this to happen,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Du Plessis as saying.
Steyn’s failure to recover from the injury before the World Cup has made it ineluctable for the team to look for Plan B and C.
“As I said, one of our X-factors, potentially we have is a really, really strong attack in terms of pace. Steyn, Rabada, Ngidi is a real, real threat in English conditions. So that changes. That’s Plan A for the World Cup in terms of our balance, what we’re looking to achieve. Now it’s just a real reshuffle and looking to Plan B and C,” Du Plessis said.
“But yeah, Dale Steyn, a fit Dale Steyn, makes our bowling attack a very, very strong one. So tomorrow will be a little bit of chopping and changing to get a balance that we think can take on England,” he said.
Steyn has very impressive figures in ODI cricket as he has 196 wickets under his belt in 125 matches. During the recently concluded Indian Premier League, he appeared in just two games and took four wickets. However, he picked a shoulder injury during the league and is yet to recover from it completely.
South Africa will face hosts England for the opening match on May 30.