Johannesburg, Dec 4: South African cricket coach Russell Domingo has said his key players pace spearhead Dale Steyn and veteran all-rounder Jacques Kallis would be fit in time for the first One Day International (ODI) cricket match against India at the Wanderers slated for Thursday.
Steyn and Kallis missed the last ODI against Pakistan, Saturday, due to some slight niggles, but Domingo hoped that the duo will be back to their best as the series against India starts.
“I think it was precautionary that Dale Steyn and Jacques Kallis didn’t play the last game. They did have some slight niggles, but we’ll see how they go in practice and we’ll be fine,” Domingo was quoted by SAPA as saying Tuesday.
Domingo said it would be great to see Kallis in the side despite the fact that the team lost the ODIs against Pakistan in his presence.
“It’s great to have Jacques back. He’s three players in one. It’s great that he’s playing again. It does pose some selection challenges. It’s not easy selecting a side where the guys in the past have done well individually. When Jacques is fit to play, any coach would have him in his team. The issue is finding a way to leave somebody out,” he said.
The ODI series will be a chance for South Africa, who are No.1 in Tests, to claw back in the ODI rankings against India, who are the top-ranked nation in the ODIs.
“This series is a big gauge for us. We’ve won five of our last eight ODIs, so we’re heading in the right direction. We know India is going to be a tough assignment for us. They’re coming off some outstanding performances, albeit in Indian conditions. We need to see if we’re going in the right direction and this will be a big test for us,” he said.
Domingo also squashed theories that the Proteas had troubles playing spin against Pakistan.
“I think it’s one or two spin bowlers. Saeed Ajmal might be the best in the world right now. He’s a world class spinner and has been for a period of time. He’s always going to be tough. I don’t think we have a weakness against spin bowling. It was just that Ajmal was a world class bowler and I’m glad he’s back in Pakistan now,” he said.