Proteas ODI captain AB de Villiers says Dale Steyn’s stiff back, which led to the premier strike bowler leaving the field after only bowling five overs against Pakistan yesterday, was not too serious and would be monitored.
“He’s been struggling with a stiff back for some time. We’ll be looking at him overnight and tomorrow morning. He’s one of our key players and we would not like to lose him so we’ll be looking after him very well,” said De Villiers yesterday after the six-wicket defeat.
Steyn had an off-colour day in the warm-up match as the South African batsmen gave the bowlers too little to defend.
Despite the loss, De Villiers was upbeat, saying that not much could be read into the warm-ups as there was a lack of match intensity. Even though the Proteas did not post a defendable total, De Villiers said the team had met most of their objectives.
“It’s never nice to lose in the manner that we did but you need to take these warm-up matches in the right mind-set. It’s not about the result, it is about what you get out of it,” De Villiers said.
“The game competitiveness was not that high today. We were a little bit slow to adapt with the bat in hand this morning and the ball moved around a bit. I’m comfortable with where the boys are at and they are all in good form. Once we get going in this tournament, I’m pretty sure that each guy will stand up when the time is right.”
While the batting teams may have been given all the advantages with only four fielders allowed outside of the circle at any given time of the match, De Villiers said two new balls and the two bouncers an over gave an opportunity for bowlers, especially with lack of deterioration.
“The two bouncers and the two new balls have definitely changed the game, but the four outside the ring also makes things challenging,” said De Villiers.
“If the bowler has an attacking mind-set right throughout your spell and keeps picking up wickets, it could play into your hands.”
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