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SA pacer Steyn doubtful for India match

June 05, 2013 19:26 IST

South Africa captain AB de Villiers tried to put up a brave front as he informed that his premier fast bowler Dale Steyn is a doubtful starter against India in the opening group league encounter of the ICC Champions Trophy in Cardiff, on Thursday.

Steyn is suffering from a side strain and pulled out after bowling just five overs during the warm-up match against Pakistan at The Oval in London on Monday.

- Confident India take on South Africa in opener

"He (Steyn) is not looking good at all. We will reassess him tonight and again tomorrow morning and it's still touch and go. It's not only one game and we won't like to risk him," De Villiers said on Wednesday.

Dale SteynHowever, De Villiers stressed they have enough experience to overcome Steyn's absence in case he is unable to play.

"We have the experience and the energy to do our best. Against India, we will come out like a pack of wolves," he said.

Stating that the first 10-15 overs in every game will be crucial in the tournament, De Villiers said they are aware about the pros and cons of the Indian players.

"We know a lot of about each player in their camp and we surely have our plans for them," he said.

South Africa have former Indian coach Gary Kirsten as their team boss. Quite a few players like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli, who were part of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad, still remain the backbone of the Indian squad at the Champions Trophy.

This will be Kirsten's last assignment as coach of the South African national team.

De Villiers said winning will depend on how well India or South Africa play as a team.

"It's not about individuals. We have to play as a team and we are a set one and I am very happy with the combination we have," he said.

Photograph: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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