england vs south africa

England’s Eoin Morgan during the Cricket World Cup captain’s launch event at The Film Shed, London.

England skipper backs Proteas attack to still fire without Steyn

South Africa has been hampered by injury to Dale Steyn ahead of the Cricket World Cup opener, but England captain Eoin Morgan believes it won’t be too much of a factor.

england vs south africa

England’s Eoin Morgan during the Cricket World Cup captain’s launch event at The Film Shed, London.

The absence of veteran fast bowler Dale Steyn may largely be seen as a boost for England ahead of the Cricket World Cup opener, but captain Eoin Morgan believes there’s enough firepower in South Africa’s bowling attack for that not to be a deciding factor.

The speedster picked up a shoulder injury during a short spell at the Indian Premier League with the Royal Challengers, and was declared not ready to take part in the opening match at The Oval on Thursday.

This was the latest in a string of injuries which have kept the 35-year-old out of the Proteas setup for the bulk of the last three years.

Speaking in a media conference ahead of the match, Morgan said Steyn’s absence should not be a major setback for the South Africans.

“They have coped without Dale Steyn in previous series for about a year and a half, I think, and they did a good job of that.

“It is a good attack. The last time they played us at home, Dale wasn’t here. They have cover, and probably not as reputable a name as Dale Steyn, but they certainly have cover.”

Eoin Morgan

In Steyn’s absence, world number five ODI bowler Kagiso Rabada is expected to spearhead the attack alongside rising star Lungi Ngidi, with veteran leg spinner Imran Tahir medium pacer Andile Phehlukwayo controlling things in the middle overs.

All-rounders Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius will be fighting it out for the spot left vacant by Steyn in the playing XI.

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis admitted that the injury was a big loss.

“It is a big loss to our team. A fit Dale Steyn makes our bowling attack a very, very strong one.”

Faf du Plessis