Sports

Steyn backs South Africa to end World Cup jinx

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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NEW DELHI, India (AFP) — South Africa's veteran paceman Dale Steyn is confident his side can end their World Cup jinx and get to the final — with “a bit of luck”.

The Proteas have always been among the world's top cricket teams but have never got past the semi-final hurdle — losing four times.

With the Faf du Plessis-led side winning 11 of their last 13 one-day series, Steyn believes the South Africans can lift the trophy at the tournament in England and Wales starting May 30.

“We're going with good expectations,” Steyn, who has joined Indian Premier League side, Royal Challengers Bangalore, told reporters.

“If you're not going to the World Cup expecting to win, then you probably shouldn't go. But I'm not going to lie, we have some fantastic players,” said Steyn, 35.

Du Plessis and spinner Imran Tahir, who play for Chennai Super Kings and speedster Kagiso Rabada with the Delhi Capitals are enjoying good form in the Twenty20 tournament.

Steyn, who is hoping to make South Africa's World Cup squad, singled out Rabada for special praise.

Rabada is currently the top ranked bowler in the IPL with 17 wickets followed by fellow South African Tahir on 15.

“He's been bowling exceptionally well. Kagiso is a wunderkind. Just hope he continues that kind of form.” said Steyn.

“We are led by Faf, who has been in fantastic form lately. And in the Indian Premier League, Imran Tahir has been right up there in terms of wickets,” said Steyn, who joined Bangalore as a replacement for injured Nathan Coulter-Nile.

“From Quinton de Kock all the way down to number 11, they're all match-winners,” he said.

“We just need to go there and hope (for) a bit of luck — weather, a missed no-ball — goes your way, and you could win the tournament.”

Steyn, who has 196 wickets from 125 ODI matches, said team rankings would be of little significance in the tournament. South Africa, ranked fourth, take on top-ranked England at The Oval in the opening game.


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