In a heartfelt gesture for his ‘good friend’ Dale Steyn, India Virat Kohli said he was ‘gutted’ to hear about the South Africa speedster’s injury and wished him a speedy recovery ahead of India’s ICC World Cup 2019 opener against South Africa at Southampton on Wednesday.
Steyn was ruled out of the tournament on the eve of the India vs South Africa World Cup 2019 encounter with a reoccurrence of a shoulder injury. Cricket South Africa decided to draft in left-arm medium pacer Beuran Hendricks as his replacement.
“I’m really feeling bad for Dale because he looked really happy. He was bowling really well and then suddenly, we find out that he’s not going to be able to continue. So I feel bad for him because he’s been a friend for a long time and he’s a very motivated guy,” Kohli told reporters.
“He’s been very happy to come back and play for South Africa. He has been doing really well and he has that hunger and passion in him still. Those niggles and injuries are not going his way and I can understand his frustration about that,” said Kohli.
“I wish him a speedy recovery, but of what I saw of him he was looking in a great mental space. He was very happy. He was enjoying his cricket, bowling really well, getting along with everyone so I can understand he must be feeling gutted,” Kohli added.
Interestingly, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis to blamed the IPL for Steyn’s injury, saying that the situation could well have a lot different had Steyn decided to opt out of the tournament ahead of the World Cup.
“Unfortunately, it happened there in the IPL in those two games that he played there. If he didn’t get picked up to go to the IPL, who knows where Dale would have been right now,” du Plessis said.