Things are just going from bad to worse for Faf du Plessis-led South Africa in the ongoing World Cup. The traditional heavyweights of the game are staring down the barrel after losing their opening three games.
Ngidi had bowled just four overs in the game before walking off the field and did not return later. He was later sidelined for 7-10 days. Veteran batsman Hashim Amla had also missed the clash against Bangladesh after the bouncer blow on his helmet grille during the tournament-opener.
On Tuesday, South African star bowler, Dale Steyn was declared unfit due to a shoulder injury and ruled out for the rest of the World Cup.
The ongoing World Cup was seen as Dale Steyn’s last ICC tournament and also the last opportunity for him to win a multi-nation ICC tournament. Steyn’s otherwise stellar, injury-free run has been marred by a troublesome shoulder over the past year or two. And that same shoulder injury has now dashed his hopes of playing in the World Cup.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis lashes out at IPL and ruing over if and buts, had Dale Steyn not gone to India for the IPL.
“If Dale hadn’t gone to the IPL, who knows how it could have been today,” said Faf du Plessis ahead of the game against India.
Du Plessis also pointed out how tough this phase has been for Dale Steyn as he made it clear that the team will support the legendary pacer.
“Dale has tried really hard – really hard – to try and get back into the team. It’s been a tough two years, and we’ve got to be strong for him. He’s going to need a bit of love. He tried unbelievably hard to get fit for this campaign, which would have been his last World Cup. We’ve got to be there for him now,” he added.
“There are a lot of things haunting me at the moment,” he further said.
“The position that I’m in is, I’m the captain of the team right now and players are looking for someone to lead them. So all I can do is try my absolute best to try and do that.”
A month ago, South Africa might even have fairly claimed to have the best pace attack going into the World Cup. Aside from Kagiso Rabada, ranked 4th in ODIs, they had Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Andlie Phehluhkwayo and Anrich Nortje in their ranks.
Two matches in, three of those bowlers are unavailable – Steyn and Nortje ruled out of the tournament, while Ngidi is out for about 10 days with a hamstring strain. All that remain to South Africa is a skeleton crew. Turning their campaign around from here will take substantial mental strength – something South Africa aren’t exactly known for at major tournaments.
“The natural thing that happens in a team like this, is you find that your confidence goes down,” du Plessis said ahead of the match against India.
“Naturally, younger guys in the team coming to their first World Cup – they will potentially go into their self-pity cycle. But that that won’t be allowed over the next couple of days. It is important for us to stay strong at this time. If you do slightly go away from that, then as a team you can crumble. Unfortunately, we are not in a position where we can afford that.”