Cricket World Cup 2011

SA's Tahir picks up infection

2011-02-27 14:25
Imran Tahir (Gallo Images)

New Delhi - South Africa has illness and injury concerns with its two match-winners following a seven-wicket win over West Indies in its opening Group B match at the World Cup.

Team manager Mohammed Moosajee said on Sunday pollution in New Delhi had contributed to legspinner Imran Tahir picking up a respiratory tract infection, while wicketkeeper-batsman AB de Villiers was coping with a back problem.

Batsman JP Duminy and fast bowler Dale Steyn had also picked up knocks, Moosajee said.

Duminy and Tahir did not train with the team on Sunday, while Steyn bruised his right side when he collided with a team mate in a football match in the warm-up.

South Africa plays Netherlands on Thursday in Mohali.

Tahir made a promising start to the tournament against West Indies, picking up 4-41 in his first competitive match for the Proteas as part of a three-man spin attack.

"It's heading for the end of winter here and with the pollution, a lot of people are getting sick," Moosajee said. "Imran Tahir has an upper respiratory tract infection and, as a precaution, we kept him out of training today. He should be fine for Mohali but we will monitor him. I told him to rest and he's on medication."

De Villiers, who hit an unbeaten century against West Indies to guide South Africa to victory, is battling a long-standing problem. He experienced back spasms following his two-and-a-half hour innings on Thursday and was unable to make the post-match news conference.

"AB is fine. If you keep wicket and bat for 50 overs each, chances are you're going to have some issues," Moosajee said. "His back is a long-standing problem and we just have to manage it regularly."

Duminy had "some lower back tightness" and Steyn had ice applied just above his hip and was kept out of the rest of the session as a precaution, the team manager said.

Ahead of the match against the Dutch, bowling coach Vince Barnes said Mohali could suit South Africa's pace attack more than the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi, where South Africa's new spinning strength held the key.

"We'll have to look at conditions," Barnes said, "there are a couple of day matches coming up where we'll have to look at the freshness of the wicket and in Mohali before there has been some extra bounce.

"We've been to the subcontinent on many occasions and know that spin obviously plays a big part. We just haven't had the type of bowlers we have now. We have a fantastic attacking spinner in Imran Tahir and two other very good spinners (Johan Botha and Robin Peterson) who can bat as well, which does help the balance."


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