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World Cup 2011

Injuries hamper South Africa training

Firdose Moonda in Delhi

February 27, 2011

Comments: 8 | Text size: A | A

Dale Steyn celebrates knocking over Kieron Pollard for a golden duck, South Africa v West Indies, World Cup, Group B, Delhi, February 24, 2011
Dale Steyn was pulled out of training as a precaution but is expected to be fit to face Netherlands © AFP
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Players/Officials: Jean-Paul Duminy | Imran Tahir | Dale Steyn
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: South Africa

It's not Delhi Belly but three of South Africa's squad are suffering ailments. Legspinner Imran Tahir, batsman JP Duminy and fast bowler Dale Steyn all missed South Africa's training session on Sunday at the Services Ground in Delhi.

"Imran has an upper respiratory tract infection and rested today as a precaution," team manager Mohammed Moosajee told ESPNcricinfo. "JP developed lower back stiffness after the last game and was also rested. Dale bruised his right side after a collision during today's warm-ups and was removed from the rest of the practice by the physiotherapist Brandon Jackson to undergo treatment. They will all be monitored going into Mohali."

Two of the three walking wounded are frontline bowlers but South Africa's assistant coach, Vincent Barnes, was not overly concerned. "I spoke to Dale on the bus and he said his side was a bit sore but he should be fine."

All indications are that South Africa will have their full complement to chose from in three days time when they take on Netherlands. Having played three spinners in their tournament opener against West Indies there is a feeling that winds of change are blowing through the South African attack, and Barnes is enjoying the breeze.

Tahir is the first attacking wristspinner that Barnes has had to work with and he finds him "a breath of fresh air" in the squad. "I hadn't seen a lot of him before but I got to spend time with him during the India series and he has been unbelievable in the set up."

Tahir was picked for South Africa immediately after he became eligible to represent the country on New Year's Day and was included in the squad for the five-match series against India. He did not play a game, instead being hidden as a secret weapon for the World Cup, a move that seems to have paid off.

His 4 for 41 on debut against West Indies was the fifth best performance by a South African in his maiden international match, something that may have surprised the world, but not the insiders. "I am not surprised by what he is capable of," Barnes said. "He is in the side as a strike bowler and he brings the run rate down because he takes wickets."

Together with Johan Botha and Robin Peterson, Tahir forms part of a core slower bowling competent which has helped take the pressure off the quicks according to Barnes. South African bowling has been synonymous with the quicks in the past but in conditions that demand different plans they are now part of a more rounded unit. Steyn, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis only bowled 18.3 against the West Indies with none of them completing their full allotment.

Barnes said the five seamers, which include left-armers Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Wayne Parnell, will still "play a big role in this tournament." One of the places they may do so is at their next stop, Mohali. "We expect more pace and more bounce," he said.

The next match comes a full week after their first game and is going to be played against an Associate team which could present South Africa with an occasion to give squad players an outing in the tournament. Barnes, though, believes it's dangerous to view any contest lightly.

"There are no smaller games," he said. "The match will present us with different challenges, it's a day game, so there will be no dew factor. We'll have a look on the day and decide the best XI."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN EMEA Ltd.

Comments: 8 
Posted by   on (March 1, 2011, 15:41 GMT)

My team is 6 batsman and 5 bowlers. Amla,Smith,Kallis,AB,JP and Van wyk as batsman and Steyn, Morkel, Tostsobe, Botha and Tahir as bowlers. So in that Kallis and JP can bowl if necessary and Botha can bat.3 Seamers and 2 good spinners. way to go

Posted by   on (March 1, 2011, 12:05 GMT)

i will not cmment on this but i would like to say that against india greame smith should not open the innings i think he is strugling against zaheer khan so i would like ab devilliers instead of him as he is in brilliant touch and i also think that when smith comes in middle of innings then zaheer will not be able to move the ball as he moves and amla and ab both are in good touch so they will come strong after them

Posted by   on (March 1, 2011, 5:53 GMT)

now that looks like gud team....every world cup i feel south africa has a gr8 team...but this certainly is the best team around...if only they can win the important moments in crunch games..this is their world cup...

Posted by blodha on (March 1, 2011, 0:36 GMT)

Guys recover fast.....I want SA to Win this World Cup. They are best......So they should Win. But they are always best but choke at crucial stage. 1992: unlucky (DL); 1996: most strongest team but lost to a gr8 batsman 1999: Gr8 performance by one of the greatest allrounder but his inning gone in vain. 2003: Lost due to pressure..lot of expectations....2007: don't know did not followed after Ind and Pak lost in first round. but this time, i think this smith guys will do it.

My second pick would be India to Win WC....the only concern is their bowling. How many times Zak and Bajji will perform??? Knock out stage will be trouble for them especially on batting tracks.

Posted by diri on (February 28, 2011, 5:19 GMT)

My team would be....Smith, Amla, Kallis, AB , JP,van Wyk,Faj,Botha, Steyn,Morkel and Tahir. Now that is a awsome team . Unstopable in all conditions. You get 40 good overs from Steyn, morkel, Botha and Tahir and then the remaining 10 can be bowled by the allrounders Jp , Faf and kallis( Better than any of Indias fast bowlers)

Posted by Spelele on (February 27, 2011, 20:08 GMT)

Well, they have enough bench strength for the Netherlands game. No need to risk any of these guys as I feel they will ALL play a huge role in the latter part of the World Cup. Get Tsotsobe in for Dayle, Parnel for Tahir, and Van Wyk (not Ingram) for Duminy. South Africa's advantage in this is definitley going to be their bowling line-up. If sides like England concede totals of around 300, and sides like India fail to defend those very sort of totals, then S.A and Aus will surely give those sides a beating. The most dangerous side from the subcontinent is definitely Pakistan because of that strong bowling unit. Sri Lanka comes second ONLY if Malinga is fit. Otherwise they too will struggle. I'm so suprised at how the so called "masters" of the subcontinent conditions are struggling, and all the sides predicted to struggle in the same conditions are blossoming like England did. It just shows that all these arguments about foreign teams and "spinning" tracks are seriously flawed.

Posted by   on (February 27, 2011, 17:25 GMT)

wow.......

Posted by   on (February 27, 2011, 14:01 GMT)

With De Villiers as a keeper and batsman now, it is ideal for South Africa.

On the SA greentops - Smith, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers, Duminy, Ingram, Botha, Tahir, Morkel, Steyn, Tsotsobe. 3 frontline seamers, 1 part-time seamer. 2 front-line spinners, 1 part time spinner.

On spinning tracks - Smith, Amla, Kallis, De Villiers, Duminy, Ingram, Botha, Tahir, Peterson, Morkel, Steyn. 2 frontline seamers, 1 part-time seamer. 3 front-line spinners, 1 part time spinner.

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