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Former South Africa pace bowler Makhaya Ntini admitted he is thrilled that seamer Dale Steyn is still part of the country’s ODI plans.
Steyn was included in South Africa’s ODI squad for their upcoming three-match series against Zimbabwe, which will begin on September 30 in Kimberley.
While Steyn hasn’t played ODI cricket since October 2016, Ntini is backing him to shine in the forthcoming series against Zimbabwe.
“The World Cup is just around the corner, next year, and the side at the moment is looking very good. It is really good to see Steyn is still in the limited-overs system,” Ntini was quoted as saying by sacricketmag.com. “[Kagiso] Rabada is a senior in the current squad. He is the leader of the guys. He will be the one everyone is looking at to learn from.
“The two of them being in the side makes a massive difference. It means there won’t be pressure on Rabada and there also won’t be any pressure on Steyn.”
However, Ntini pointed out that Steyn and Rabada will have to make early inroads into Zimbabwe’s batting line-up to ensure all the pressure doesn’t fall on fast bowler Lungi Ngidi and the spinners.
“If the opening pair doesn’t do well, then Ngidi and the spinners can be under pressure to bring things together,” he said. “If Steyn and Rabada do well up front, even if they don’t take wickets, then the rest can follow through and do well.”