Big blow for South African cricket team as their premier pacer Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. After failing to recover from a shoulder injury, Steyn has been dropped from the Proteas squad for the quadrennial event. Earlier, Steyn also withdrew from the Indian Premier League (IPL) with the same niggling shoulder issue. In the World Cup, Steyn had already missed the first two games of his team’s campaign against hosts England and Bangladesh.
The South African quick bowler had surgery for this problem in 2016 and has been plagued with issues with his shoulder before and since that procedure. He has had a recurrence of the problem and will be unavailable for the foreseeable future.
South Africa have started this tournament with two losses, with defeats to England and Bangladesh in their opening fixtures. The Proteas will next take on India on June 5 at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. They will now be going into that important fixture, and the rest of this tournament, without Steyn.
Steyn will be replaced in the South African squad by left-arm quick Beuran Hendricks who made his ODI debut in January this year against Pakistan. Hendricks returns in ODI cricket have been limited so far, with just one wicket from two matches, but he has had more success in T20 Internationals where he has 16 wickets at an average of 18.93. Hendricks claimed a career-best T20I haul in January, also against Pakistan, when he took 4/14 at Centurion.
Hendricks has the ability to bowl with real pace, reaching 140kph at times while also swinging the ball late. As a left armer he also offers some diversity to the South African attack.
(With ICC Inputs)