Wednesday, July 17, 2019 | ePaper

Rabada, Steyn on track to full recovery before World Cup: Ottis Gibson

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In a morale-boosting development for South Africa, head coach Ottis Gibson said that fast bowling duo of Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn are expected to recover in time for his team's World Cup 2019 opener against England on May 30.
Rabada was one of the stand-out performers in the just-concluded IPL (25 wickets in 12 matches) until a stiff back ruled him out before the playoffs. Dale Steyn was flown in mid-way through the tournament by Royal Challengers Bangalore as a replacement player, but he could only last two matches before a shoulder injury forced him to return to South Africa and put doubts over his World Cup participation. But Gibson reckons their injuries aren't anything for people to be 'alarmed about'.
"There was an issue with KG [Rabada] and there was an issue with Dale, but we feel that those guys are on track," Gibson said. "There's nothing that people should be alarmed about. They're going to both make full recoveries and be able to take their place at the World Cup."
Gibson also rubbished any notion of concerns surrounding the form of Hashim Amla, who recently opted out of the CSA T20 challenge mid-way through the tournament. Amla has scored just two hundreds and four fifties since October 2017, but has an average of 56.73 in England.
"Hash just wanted to get away from the T20 bubble of trying to hit every ball. Obviously he wasn't scoring big runs, so he felt like that was hampering his own preparation and his mindset of playing in England. We felt it was important to give him the space to do that. There was no real dramas of removing him from that T20 atmosphere," Gibson said.
Talking of the tournament, Gibson laid emphasis on the importance of weather in the England and hoped the familiarity with the conditions there within the coaching staff can hold the team in good stead.
"England can be interesting, it depends on the weather," Gibon said. "England lends itself to high-scoring games. The weather will play a part in that. I believe the conditions will play a huge part in the outcome of the World Cup. They are forecasting a hot spell coming up in the next couple of months, so perhaps the tracks will be a lot dryer."

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