KOLKATA – Dale Steyn has talked up South Africa’s chances of winning the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, saying “we have some fantastic players”.
South Africa are set to announce their squad of 15 for the tournament on Thursday, and Steyn, speaking in Kolkata ahead of his first IPL 2019 match for Royal Challengers Bangalore, said the form of the likes of Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada gave them a big reason to be confident in England and Wales.
In fact, with a little bit of luck, Steyn said South Africa could win the tournament. “We're led by Faf, who has been in fantastic form late,” he said. “And in the IPL, Imran Tahir has been right up there in terms of wickets.
“From Quinton de Kock all the way down to No 11, they're all match-winners. We just need to go there and hope a bit of luck – weather, a missed no-ball – goes your way, and you could win the tournament.
“You look at KG [Rabada], he's been bowling exceptionally well. Kagiso is a wunderkind. Just hope he continues that kind of form.
"He's come on to the scene in international cricket and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. We've seen players come in, show signs of extreme excellence and then fade away, but KG is someone we can get used to."
Steyn said, “no one gives us a chance” but knows the key is to go in expecting to win. “I don't think South Africa have lost an ODI series in two-and-a-half years [they've won 11 of their last 13 ODI series] but no one gives us a chance and then somebody does,” he said.
“We're going with good expectations. 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.”
Asked to pick a side apart from South Africa that could win the tournament, Steyn said “every team” had a chance, and that rankings wouldn’t matter once the tournament begins.
"You just need to go there, figure out which teams are best adapting (to) the conditions and then the team that hits the ground running first has the best chance," he said.
"I think every team going to the World Cup has a massive chance. England are playing in England, and they're playing some good white-ball cricket.
"But I think you really need to take rankings and throw it out of the window. I don't even know what ranking West Indies have, and they just beat England. Australia were losing, and then they've started winning again.”
South Africa face England in the tournament-opener at The Oval on 30 May.
African News Agency (ANA)