SOUTHAMPTON, England (Reuters) – South Africa need to put aside the fallout from their decision to overlook AB de Villiers and their injury issues when they face the West Indies in the Cricket World Cup on Monday, said key bowler Kagiso Rabada.
It was confirmed last week that De Villiers, regarded as one of the world’s leading batsmen, had approached South Africa captain Faf du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson about a return to the side having retired from international cricket last May.
The approach was rebuffed by South Africa’s selectors but was reported in the media at a difficult time for the team after they lost their opening three matches of the World Cup to England, Bangladesh and India.
“There has been a lot happening off the field, so it’s a bit of a weird stage for the Proteas,” Rabada told a news conference on Sunday.
South Africa’s World Cup chances have also been hit by injuries to fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi.
“We have to deal with what we have. There is no point complaining about it,” Rabada said.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had quite a few problems in this tournament with injuries and we’ve had to work our way around it.
“We just need a few things to click… We’re looking to turn it around tomorrow.”
Rabada will be South Africa’s lead attack bowler in a match they must win to keep alive their slim hopes.
“We need a few things to click and we are working our way around it. And so we are looking to turn it around tomorrow.
“We have done our analysis already. We’ve put our plans in place.
“The West Indies are a dangerous team. When they get going, they can really hurt the opposition, so we are aware of their threat. But we believe that we can beat them,” Rabada added.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)