India have great side for Champions Trophy: Steyn

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 15:09 [IST]
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India have great side for CT 13: Steyn

Mumbai, May 15: India might have left out seasoned campaigners Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir from their ICC Champions Trophy squad, but South African speedster Dale Steyn feels even without the trio, skipper MS Dhoni has a strong side at his disposal.

"India have got a great side. If you look at the IPL, the highest run getters, the highest wicket takers are all Indian players and all of them are in Champions Trophy. They are going to do just fine. Hopefully not too fine against us," Steyn said.

Sehwag, Yuvraj and Gambhir have been omitted from the 15-man Indian squad by the selectors due to indifferent form.

India and South Africa are scheduled to kick-off the eight-nation tournament on June 6 at the Sophia Gardens at Wales, in a Group B match.

Apart from India and South Africa, the four-team Group B also features West Indies and Pakistan, and Steyn said its a tough pool.

"It's a good group. It's a difficult group. All the teams are doing well and they are playing some good cricket at the moment. The rankings don't matter. There are some star players in every team that can just knock you out. We have got our work cut out for us when we go there. I am looking forward to that challenge," Steyn said about the group.

Steyn was of the opinion that the conditions in England would be dry in June and it could be challenging for both batsmen and bowlers.

"I think it gets dry there now in June. I know when we played the Test series last year, it was quite difficult to bowl on. It is also difficult to score on too. There weren't too many high scoring games in the ODIs we played. There weren't any 300 plus kind of scores, they were like 270 or 260. It always keeps the bowlers in the game. I will assess it when I get there," he said.

South Africa, too, would be missing key players like Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith and Steyn felt that the team lacked experience, but was also confident that the youngsters are capable of performing well.

"Between the two (Kallis and Smith) of them, there is like 500 ODIs, so massive. As cliches go, it is the opportunity for younger guys to do their stuff. I believe that the guys who are stepping up are just as capable of what these guys can do. It is the experience factor that we lack, that's all," he said.

Young South African batsman David Miller, who has been included, has been impressive with his match-winning knocks in the ongoing IPL and Steyn said the 23-year-old has a golden chance to make his mark in world cricket.

"He (Miller) has played only a handful of ODIs. His ability, if not, is as equal to a Smith or Kallis, it is just the experience (that he lacks). He has not played many games for South Africa. He has got a better chance going to Champions Trophy and doing well and making himself a household name," he said.

On A B de Villiers' captaincy, the 29-year old said, "He (de Villiers) is very good. He is a great player. He is one of those freaks. I am so happy that he is in my team. He is going to do just fine."

The world's top-ranked bowler said that he doesn't like to bowl to de Villiers as it dents his confidence.

"I don't bowl to him (de Villiers). I need to keep my confidence, I don't bowl to him. If I had to bowl to him in the nets, I would walk out there with my tail between the legs. There is no point. I try to bowl to the new ball batters and they leave me and make me feel good about myself," he said.


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