Ottis Gibson confirmed on Tuesday that Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn will be ready for the opening game against England despite injury concerns, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
There was a sense of calmness about Ottis Gibson when he appeared in front of the media. He sat down outside the Westin Hotel with a Proteas top, tracksuit pants and Havaianas flip flops, ready to take on the hungry Cape Town media. He cracked a few jokes and then got down to business.
The opening question, as expected, was about the injury concerns that struck the Proteas leading up to their first get-together as a team on home soil on Sunday 12 May. Rabada, Steyn and Lungi Ngidi were all nursing injuries, while Anrich Nortje was put on ‘standby’ after a finger injury and replaced by Chris Morris.
The main worries were with Steyn and Rabada, but Gibson ruled out any concerns ahead of the opening game on 30 May.
‘There was an issue with KG and there was an issue with Dale, but both of those guys are on track, there’s no reason people should be alarmed, they’re both going to make full recoveries,’ said Gibson.
When asked if they will be available for the opening game, Gibson replied emphatically: ‘Yeah, yeah for sure. Absolutely.’
The mood in the camp is good, according to Gibson, who explained how his players were delighted to be back together as a group, exchanging secret handshakes and embraces at their first meeting.
‘To have everyone back is awesome,’ said Gibson. ‘The fact that the guys, especially the ones that came back from the IPL, turned up in good health is really nice.
‘The one thing about this group is that when they come together, they really come together. There were all sorts of “bromancing”, hugging and guys connecting with each other because it was the first time we got together.
‘We went for a team meal last night and started our conversations about how we are going to approach the World Cup journey. We know now we have two weeks to build up and get ourselves ready for the challenge.’