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Dale Steyn out of Cricket World Cup

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5th June, 2019
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Faf Du Plessis believes South Africa can still make the World Cup semi-finals, even with talisman paceman Dale Steyn ruled out of the tournament.

South Africa insisted veteran seam bowler Steyn has suffered a new shoulder injury since arriving in the UK, enabling the Proteas to replace him with Beuran Hendricks.

The Proteas must face India in Southampton on Wednesday with Steyn and Lungi Ngidi both missing, while Anrich Nortje was ruled out before the tournament.

South Africa who have already lost to both England and Bangladesh – have never suffered three defeats at the start of a World Cup defeats and would face a mountain to climb to reach the last four with a loss to India – but captain Du Plessis is staying confident.

Asked if Wednesday’s India clash is make or break for the Proteas’ World Cup chances, Du Plessis replied: “Six games is the target, and there’s seven games left.

“It would be great if we could start that tomorrow. There’s no easy games anymore in the World Cup.

“Whether it’s winning or losing, the main thing is getting to the semi-finals.

“It’s purely just our skills that need to be upgraded. If we can deliver our skills then we will be in good positions. But so far we haven’t been there.”

South Africa’s medical chief Dr Mohammed Moosajee confirmed Steyn’s injury as a new shoulder complaint, with the 35-year-old having shaken off his previous shoulder issue.

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Hendricks will arrive on Wednesday but will not be available to face India.

Hoping Steyn’s international career is not at an end, Du Plessis said: “It’s important for us to be strong for Dale.

“It’s been a tough two-and-half years for him, and he would need support right now. I know he wanted to make an impact in what would have been his last World Cup.

“He needs love at the moment, he tried really hard to get fit for this campaign.”

South Africa’s 104-run loss to hosts and tournament favourites England might have been expected, but the Proteas were stunned by Sunday’s 21-run defeat by Bangladesh.

Du Plessis admitted South Africa’s injury-ravaged bowling attack means he must draw up an entirely new plan of attack – that may revolve around trying to bat as deep as possible.

“There’s only 14 players to pick from now. There’s not a lot of options for the bowling attack.

“You have to decide whether you go with all your allrounders in your team, bat deep and try to get a big score.

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“Or you go with two spinners, but I don’t think spin has played that big a role here. There aren’t many other options.”

© AAP