Things are just going from bad to worse for Faf du Plessis-led South Africa in the ongoing World Cup. The traditional heavyweights of the game are staring down the barrel after losing their opening two games. In their tournament-opener, they suffered a heavy 104-run loss at the hands of hosts England. Bangladesh then stunned the Proteas by 21 runs to leave their campaign in tatters.
South Africa then suffered another blow during the game against Bangladesh when fast-bowler Lungi Ngidi suffered a hamstring injury. Ngidi had bowled just four overs in the game before walking off the field and did not return later. He was later sidelined for 7-10 days. Veteran batsman Hashim Amla had also missed the clash against Bangladesh after the bouncer blow on his helmet grille during the tournament-opener.
And as if all these were not enough, South Africa suffered yet another huge blow on Tuesday, just 24 hours before their big game against India. Their pace spearhead Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the entire tournament due to a shoulder injury. Steyn had suffered the injury during the Indian Premier League while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore and was also ruled out of that tournament.
Since then, he has not returned to the field and is now set for another lengthy spell at the sidelines. And the latest setback has made skipper Faf du Plessis to rue Steyn’s decision to play in the IPL. Steyn was not a part of the Royal Challengers squad at the start but had later joined them to replace Nathan Coulter-Nile. He, however, played just two games before suffering the injury.
“If Dale hadn’t gone to the IPL, who knows how it could have been today,” quoted Faf du Plessis.
We’ve got to be strong for him
While Du Plessis was understandably disappointed to lose Dale Steyn, he made sure to point out just how hard his teammate tried to recover. Steyn’s career has been marred by several injuries in the last couple of years and the latest one has dashed his hopes of winning the World Cup.
“Dale has tried really hard – really hard – to try and get back into the team,” Du Plessis said. “It’s been a tough two years, and we’ve got to be strong for him. He’s going to need a bit of love. He tried unbelievably hard to get fit for this campaign, which would have been his last World Cup. We’ve got to be there for him now.”