The South African pace battery got a shot in the arm on Wednesday as head coach Ottis Gibson confirmed that Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada would be fit for the World Cup.
Steyn suffered a right shoulder injury while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL), meanwhile Rabada’s phenomenal journey in the cash-rich league was cut short with a back issue.
“There was an issue with KG (Rabada) and there was an issue with Dale, but we feel that those guys are on track,” Gibson said.
“There’s nothing that people should be alarmed about. They’re going to both make full recoveries and be able to take their place at the World Cup,” added the West Indian.
The Proteas begin their World Cup journey against favourites England at the Oval on May 30 and Gibson is buoyed by the mood in his squad.
After the return of the players from the IPL, the team bonded while hiking up Table Mountain with Gibson saying, “We’ve been away from each other, all over the world and so on. To have everybody back is awesome. The fact that the guys who played in the IPL final also turned up in good health is also very nice.
“One thing I really enjoy about this group is, when we come together, we really come together. There was all sorts of ‘bromance’ and hugging and people connecting with each other going on last night. We waited for the IPL guys to get off the plane about 4 O’clock yesterday, and we had a nice little session. We went for a team meal last night and got together and started our conversations around how we’re going to approach the World Cup journey,” he added.
Gibson also weighed in on the Jofra Archer debate, also expressing that he would be delighted to see a fellow Barbadian excelling in the international circuit.
“Jofra Archer will add some spice to their attack, no doubt. I can’t see how they’re not going to pick him to be honest. Which is obviously good for him. He’s a guy from my hometown, from Barbados, so I’d be very pleased to see him putting on an England shirt and playing in the World Cup. We’re looking forward to that game.”