• Kirsten: SA will have fantastic attack in English conditions

    Former coach Gary Kirsten has backed South Africa’s bowlers to perform well in English conditions during this year’s World Cup.

    The seam attack has been weakened by the absence of the injured Anrich Nortje, while fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada are nursing respective shoulder and back problems sustained during the recent Indian Premier League.

    Kirsten worked with Steyn at the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL – and coached India to the 2011 World Cup title.

    ‘Dale has proved to be one of the best bowlers of his generation. Like any superstar, he has the ability to produce match-winning performances at any time in his career,’ Kirsten told the Mumbai Mirror.

    ‘South Africa will have a fantastic bowling attack in English conditions. South Africa have always produced talented players and will always be competitive.’

    The Proteas have never won a World Cup – and weathered four semi-final exits to England in 1992, Australia in 1999 and 2007 and New Zealand in 2015

    ‘There is no doubt that the South African team has underperformed in previous World Cup knockout matches,’ added Kirsten.

    ‘They are not the first professional sports team to experience this and will certainly not be the last. There will be far less expectation placed on them for this year’s World Cup, and I believe this will benefit the team and hopefully free the players up to reach their potential.’

    England and South Africa will open the 2019 World Cup at The Oval in London on Thursday, 30 May.

    Photo: Getty Images

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