The 2019 World Cup is about to get underway on May 30 and all the anticipations have already reached the cusp. In the tournament opener, hosts England will take on South Africa at the Kennington Oval. Both the teams will be surely hoping to start the 50-overs quadrennial competition on a positive note. However, South Africa have suffered a huge blow as their premier fast bowler Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the opening game.
He had sustained a shoulder injury in the Indian Premier League (IPL) while playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). He played only two matches for them and soon flew back to South Africa to attend a specialist in order to get fit for the World Cup in time. There was also positive news coming out of the Proteas camp only a few days ago which led to Steyn travelling to England with the squad.
He’s not quite ready yet
But it seems that Dale Steyn is not match fit and the head coach Ottis Gibson confirmed the same in the press conference on Tuesday ahead of the World Cup opener. “Dale Steyn won’t be available for the first game. He’s not quite ready yet,” he said when asked about Steyn’s fitness. Moreover, it is also being learnt that he will only be completely fit for South Africa’s third game against India which is on June 5.
Having said that, the Faf du Plessis-led side is not short of the pace bowlers in the line-up at the moment. Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi will now be accompanied either by Chris Morris or Dwaine Pretorius it seems both of whom are all-rounders. Also, a lot will depend on the conditions at the Kennington Oval in London on May 30.
Steyn not playing is definitely a huge blow for South Africa as he has the ability to pick up early wickets with the new ball and his absence will be felt.