SOUTHAMPTON – They were teammates just a few weeks ago, so it’s not surprising that India captain Virat Kohli pushed aside his team’s looming World Cup challenge with the Proteas to share his personal disappointment that Dale Steyn has been forced to return home.
Veteran Proteas fast bowler Steyn was ruled out of the World Cup yesterday with a shoulder injury and will be replaced by Beuran Hendricks. The latter has only played two One-Day Internationals.
Kohli and Steyn were teammates at the Bangalore Royal Challengers recently where they played together in the Indian Premier League before the fast bowler was called back to South Africa after he injured his shoulder.
It was initially viewed as a precaution, but Steyn has not been able to make a full recovery after suffering a second injury while at the World Cup.
“I am really feeling bad for Dale. He looked happy, he was bowling very well. Suddenly, we find out that he is not going to continue. I feel bad for him because he has been a friend for a long time. He is a very motivated guy, he has been very happy to come back and play for South Africa,” Kohli said.
“He has been doing well. He has that hunger and passion. But those niggles and injuries are not just going his way. I can understand the frustration. I wish him a speedy recovery.
From what I saw from him (at the IPL), he was in a great mental space. He was enjoying his cricket, bowling well, getting along with everyone. So, I can understand he must be feeling gutted and I am feeling bad for him actually.”@ZaahierAdams