ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News
World Cup 2011
Injuries hamper South Africa training
Firdose Moonda in Delhi
February 27, 2011
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."