ICC Champions Trophy

Steyn may miss Pakistan clash

2013-06-09 15:13
Dale Steyn (Gallo Images)
Birmingham - South Africa are set to be without Dale Steyn once again at the Champions Trophy when they face Pakistan at Edgbaston on Monday.

Steyn, widely regarded as the best fast bowler currently in world cricket, missed the Proteas' opening 26-run Group B defeat by India in Cardiff on Thursday with a side strain.

And South Africa captain AB de Villiers, speaking to reporters at Edgbaston on Sunday, was pessimistic about Steyn's chances of facing Pakistan.

"The final decision hasn't been made yet, but it's not looking good," de Villiers said. "The chances are he'll only be ready for the last one (South Africa's final group match against the West Indies in Cardiff on June 14).

"We are still hanging on to that last little bit of hope he could wake up tomorrow (Monday) morning and do a bit of a fitness test and look good for the game, but it's not looking good at all."

South Africa's fast bowling resources were further depleted when Morné Morkel, who limped off while bowling his seventh over against India, was ruled out of the tournament with a leg injury.

India capitalised to pile up 331 for seven but South Africa gave them a scare before falling short in a daunting chase.

The Proteas have called up Chris Morris, a 26-year-old seamer who has played two Twenty20 matches for South Africa, but has yet to appear in a one-day international, as Morkel's replacement.

And de Villiers, having seen the way in which England beat Australia by 48 runs in a Group A encounter at Edgbaston on Sunday, reckoned pace was still the way forward.

"It looked a similar kind of wicket to the one we'll be playing on. The one spinner for England, (James) Tredwell bowled really well but it was the seamers, who started reversing the ball, who really restricted the batters and made them look like they can't get it off the square."

The wicketkeeper-batsman added now was the not the time for the Proteas to change tactics.

"We are not going to change too much. I very well remember the 2007 World Cup (in the West Indies) where we played Australia in the semi-finals and tried to change strategy.

"We tried to take it to them and the next minute we were 20 for five.

"We are going to stick to our game plans. We believe if we play to our full potential, we believe we can beat any team here."

Monday's match is effectively a must-win encounter for both sides after Pakistan suffered a two-wicket defeat in a low-scoring clash with the West Indies at The Oval on Friday.

Despite being dismissed for just 170, Pakistan's bowlers nearly guided their side to an improbable win in south London.

"We are well aware of the Pakistani bowling attack, they are a very good bowling attack.

"We are up against a very good team who can beat any team in this tournament. But we are playing some good cricket and we are confident we can beat them tomorrow," insisted de Villiers.

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