Steyn, Philander in SA's World Cup picture

2018-05-29 08:14
Dale Steyn (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has confirmed that Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander are in the mix to play in the 2019 World Cup.

The tournament takes place in May next year, but plans started over six months ago when Gibson was appointed coach of the national team. 

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He provided an update on those plans on Tuesday, and he acknowledged that both Steyn and Philander could come into the mix. 

Steyn (34) has been battling a heel injury that has kept him sidelined since January while Philander (32) last played ODI cricket at the 2015 World Cup.

But, with the recent retirement of Morne Morkel, Gibson and the Proteas might benefit from having another experienced seamer in their ranks. 

"With experienced players like Vern, we know what he can do so when you talk about widening the pool, you don't necessarily need to see Vern immediately," Gibson said, explaining that there was no rush to get Philander and Steyn back into the set-up.

"Dale Steyn could come into it for the World Cup if he gets himself fit and stays fit. We just lost Morne Morkel and we lost AB, so Dale Steyn could come into the conversation, but we don't need to see Dale Steyn now."

The priority for both players, Gibson said, was ensuring that they were fit.

"Steyn's priority right now is trying to get fit and it's the same for Vern," he said.

"Vern has had a lot of fitness issues. He was brilliant this last summer and played every Test match he was picked in and stayed on the park.

"He was outstanding as a leader of our bowling attack and when we get to those last 10 ODIs, his name could come into the picture."


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