South Africa handed double injury boost ahead of England World Cup opener

South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn are expected to be fit for the World Cup opener against hosts England.

The 2019 Cricket World Cup kicks off at The Oval on May 30 with England, the top-ranked team in the world, facing Ottis Gibson’s South Africa.

There were fears within the South Africa camp that fast bowling duo Rabada and Steyn would miss the opening World Cup match with ongoing injury problems.

Rabada suffered back pain towards the end of the recent Indian Premier League while Steyn has been battling a long-term shoulder injury.

But, speaking to the press in Cape Town this week, Gibson said both Rabada and Steyn were on course to be fit for South Africa’s World Cup clash with England.

He said: ‘There was an issue with KG (Rabada) and there was an issue with Dale, but we feel that those guys are on track.

‘There is nothing that people should be alarmed about. We feel that they’re going to make full recoveries and be able to take their place at the World Cup.’

The South African team will assemble in Pretoria before travelling to England over the weekend as they bid to win the country’s first-ever World Cup.

Speaking last month, Steyn – one of the best bowlers of his generation – insisted South Africa were capable of causing an upset to win the World Cup.

‘We’re going with good expectations,’ he said. ‘If you’re not going to the World Cup expecting to win, then you probably shouldn’t go.

‘But I’m not going to lie, we have some fantastic players. We’re led by Faf, who’s been in fantastic form lately. And in the IPL, Imran Tahir has been right up there in terms of wickets.

‘From De Kock all the way down to No. 11, they’re all match-winners. We just need to go there and hope a bit of luck goes your way, and you could win the tournament.’

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