South Africa can count on Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi to play a part in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, but the team is still looking for the fourth prong of their pace attack, an “x-factor bowler”, captain Faf du Plessis has said.
“Those three will go and they will play,” du Plessis said of Rabada, Steyn and Ngidi, looking ahead to the tournament in England and Wales, which begins on 30 May. “We need one more fast bowler.
“We are trying to think ahead in case someone gets injured. The three of them are all bowlers that can take wickets. We feel with the balance of the side and going with our strongest XI, having that x-factor bowler (as a reserve) in our bowling attack is key.”
The home series against Pakistan, which stands level at 1-1 ahead of the third one-day international on Friday, 25 January, is a chance for players to stake their claim for a spot in the final 15 making the trip for the World Cup, the captain said. With the likes of Quinton de Kock, Dale Steyn (rested for the first two games) and Ngidi (injured) missing, it was a “blessing in disguise”.
“We have been a bit rusty in both the batting and bowling departments,” he pointed out. “We haven’t put in a performance as close to the one we played in the last ODI in Australia.
“The injuries do take you back, taking Quinton, Dale and Lungi out of your team means you are not playing your best team. For me that is okay, the guys who are playing in their spots will be guys who will make up the 15 going to the World Cup. It has been a blessing in disguise that we can look at more players.”