Proteas head coach Ottis Gibson insists that injured fast-bowling duo Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn will recover in time for the Cricket World Cup.
Kagiso Rabada has been South Africa’s premier fast bowler over the last two seasons and looked in terrific white-ball form in the IPL before a back spasm ended his time with the Delhi Capitals. Rabada has taken 106 wickets in 66 ODIs to date.
Steyn, meanwhile, continues to be plagued by a troublesome shoulder, having flown back to South Africa after playing just two games in the 2019 IPL after being signed by the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Proteas have suffered injury scares to all their quicks but so far only Anrich Nortje has pulled out being replaced by Chris Morris.
“We feel that those guys are on track,” Gibson said. “There’s nothing that people should be alarmed about. They’re going to both make full recoveries and be able to take their place at the World Cup.”
Gibson expects the conditions in England to be a bit drier than usual but very much batting-friendly.
“England can be interesting,” Gibson said. “England lends itself to high-scoring games. The weather will play a part in that. I believe the conditions will play a huge part in the outcome of the World Cup. They are forecasting a hot spell coming up in the next couple of months, so perhaps the tracks will be a lot dryer.”
The Proteas will face hosts England in the tournament’s opening match and Gibson feels the Three Lions, whose coaching staff he was part of before taking up the top job in South Africa,would be foolish not to pick Barbados-born allrounder Jofra Archer in their 15-man squad.
He said: “Jofra Archer will add some spice to their attack, and I can’t see how they are not going to pick him, to be honest. He is a guy from my home of Barbados, so I would be very happy to see him putting on an England shirt and playing in the World Cup.”
England will start the tournament as favourites. All teams have announced their 15-man squads but can make changes before the CWC gets underway. Rabada and Steyn have joined up with the squad who have gone into a camp to prepare for the tournament.