Dale Steyn has stated that he wants to win the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales, starting May 30. The South African team has had the finest players and have been hailed as favourites numerous times over the last 20 years but have miserably failed in the knockout stages every time.
The South African team was among the favourites to win the 2015 World Cup in Australia, but they failed to overcome New Zealand in the semi-finals and crashed out in a closely fought game. Things have drastically changed in the last four years and the Proteas are no longer the favourites to win the marquee tournament. This might as well be the final World Cup for pacer Dale Steyn and he vows to give his best.
“I will give my best during this World Cup. I have got all the important trophies in my drawing room except this World Cup. I want to have the World Cup medal before I quit the game. I am just not bothered (about the chokers tag). Incidentally, we could not win any World Cup title after coming back to international cricket. In 1992, we lost due to a silly rain rule. After that, we did well but we could not win the Cup,” he said in an interview, reported TNN.
South Africa have reached the semi-finals stage four times in 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2015. However, not many analysts are giving them a chance this year but Steyn, who was injured after two matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, reckoned that the side is motivated like never before.
“Very unfortunate (we not start as favourites). What can I say? We’ll try our best this time. The whole team is motivated like never before. I am personally trying to convince my teammates that we should not waste this opportunity as well. I was injured before the IPL, but rehabilitation was going on. I have been telling my physio that I have to be fit, fully fit for the World Cup. We'll start the campaign as one of the confident teams,” he expressed.
Hashim Amla has been the backbone of the South African side for years now but he has been far from his best in recent whiles. Despite the experience of Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy and David Miller in the batting department, the side looks very weak on paper, something even Steyn agreed to.
"Batting department will have specialist batsmen and three to four all-rounders. If you go through the list, it may not be great but quite good. The atmosphere of the World Cup will encourage the whole team to do well. We'll tell ourselves, 'let us all give it a go, forget about the past, but prove the whole world that South Africa also can play excellent brand of cricket.' If we can manage to do that, we’ll progress in the tournament,” he conveyed.
In an IPL encounter on March 30 between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders, the former had only set a target of 11 runs in the Super Over. However, Kagiso Rabada bowled a fiery yorker to send off the big-hitting Andre Russell and stopped KKR to just seven runs. Graeme Smith had then stated that Rabada should keep these deliveries for the quadrennial event and not show them in the IPL. Steyn defended his former skipper as he feels he just wants the Proteas to bring the prestigious trophy home.
“Yes, the whole of South Africa will again dream that we'll bring the Cup for the first time to the country. Same is with Graeme Smith. Not only Smith, but the whole country wants us to save such weapons and release them during the World Cup. We have to try hundred percent if we have to win the Cup,” he explained.
“It would be a hard-fought tournament. We all have to fasten our seat belts before taking off. We are a very emotional yet professional side. I only hope we can display our super best efforts. Play to win (would be our basic approach), I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping to win this time,” he concluded.
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