'England seem to reverse the ball a bit quicker'

Updated: Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 11:51 [IST]
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'England bowlers have good skill'

London, June 19: South Africa skipper A B de Villiers has expressed concerns over allegations of ball-tampering against the English side and seemed a bit amazed at the host bowlers' ability to reverse swing the ball "a bit quicker than the rest of the teams" in the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy.

The hosts have been hit by allegations of ball-tampering ahead of their high-voltage semifinal, slated to be held here tomorrow against South Africa.

"If they are doing something funny with the ball, then it's definitely a concern, yes, but we've got no proof of that. Look, they seem to get it to reverse a bit quicker than the rest of the teams so maybe they've just got really good skill in their bowlers," de Villiers told reporters on the eve of the match on Tuesday (June 18).

"We've tried, as well - I think all teams try to do that, and we haven't really managed to succeed in that, but we'll try that again tomorrow and see if our bowlers can find that skill to reverse the ball.

"It's something that the umpires and the ICC will probably look into why England and some of the other teams might get it to reverse quicker. All that is really not up to me to decide or to comment on that. But if there is something funny happening, then it's definitely a concern, yes," he added.

Even as Dale Steyn's availability for the match remained in doubt, de Villiers asserted that they have enough firepower to emerge victorious without the world's numero uno fast bowler.

"We've won games without him and with him. It's a semi-final game. It's a big knock-out game, and there will be a lot of pressure around, a lot of hype. Not having him on the side will be big for us, but then again, like I said, we're playing good cricket and we're confident we can beat England without Dale," de Villiers said. "I said before that I don't believe we're lost without him."


Story first published:  Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 0:02 [IST]
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