Cricket World Cup 2015

AB backs Steyn as match-winner

2015-03-04 08:30
Dale Steyn (AFP)

Canberra - South Africa captain AB de Villiers backed Dale Steyn to be a Cricket World Cup match-winner despite the strike bowler struggling to hit top form at the tournament.

After an indifferent start to the World Cup, Steyn marked his 100th one-day international with 2-39 in the 201-run mauling of Ireland at the Manuka Oval on Tuesday.

Bowling with pace and venom, Steyn sent back opener Paul Stirling for nine and then had danger man Ed Joyce picked up for nought as the Proteas claimed their third win in four games.

However, Steyn still has relatively modest figures of 5-182 from the four games, having been dominated by India's batsmen at the MCG, going for 1-55 in his team's 130-run defeat.

By contrast, fellow fast bowler Morne Morkel has 9-174 from four games while the unheralded Kyle Abbott boasts 6-58 in two matches since he came in to replace the injured Vernon Philander.

"I've got no worries about Dale at all," insisted de Villiers.

"He's going to win us a couple of crucial games in this tournament.

"He runs in with a lot of energy, intensity. He bowled with pace again against an Ireland team that it's very easy to sort of sit back and go 'I don't really have to give it all my all here, we just have to relax; we've got 400 on the board'.

"He ran everything 140 (kph) plus. I believe he's still in great form, and I know he's going to win us a couple of games, it's just a matter of time."

Abbott, meanwhile, has seized his opportunity to give South Africa a selection headache before their next Pool B match against Pakistan in Auckland on Saturday should first-choice Philander recover from the hamstring injury he suffered against India on February 22.

The 27-year-old Abbott has played just 13 ODIs for the Proteas since his debut two years ago and his 4-21 against Ireland represented his best figures.

Abbott, a barrel-chested right-arm seamer from KwaZulu-Natal, has also had to be patient in the Test arena having figured in just three matches.

Even there, he has been reminding selectors of his talents with his handful of Tests yielding 13 wickets with a best of 7-29 against Pakistan at Centurion in 2013.

"He's played a lot of cricket domestically. He's a very experienced campaigner, and he shows that he plays with his heart on his sleeve," said de Villiers.

"He's got a lot of passion for the game, a lot of passion for the team. He's always one of those guys that when he's in the side, you know what you're going to get from him. You're going to get 100 percent commitment.

"No one is guaranteed a spot, though, and we'll have to get the balance right for the next game. We'll assess whatever conditions and whatever team we play against and pick the best possible 11 in order for us to win games of cricket."

Read more on:    proteas  |  cwc 2015  |  dale steyn  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Australia won their fifth Cricket World Cup over the weekend. Does it leave a bitter taste in your mouth that the Proteas didn't get to play them?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.