Cricket

De Villiers: South Africa can beat England without Steyn

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South Africa captain AB de Villiers believes his side are capable of beating England without attack leader Dale Steyn, but remains confident the fast bowler will be available for selection on Wednesday.

England and South Africa contest the first semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy when they meet at The Oval, with Steyn a doubt for the Proteas having missed training this week due to stiffness in his groin.

De Villiers, however, expects Steyn to be included in the final XI when the toss is made, although has warned England that South Africa can still triumph without their key strike bowler.

"It looks like we've got a good chance [of playing him tomorrow]," de Villiers told reporters.

"He's taking another day off just to make sure we rest him really well. I said before that I don't believe we're lost without him. We can definitely beat England without him."

England, meanwhile, have a injury concern of their own ahead of the last four clash, with off-spinner Graeme Swann still not fully recovered from persistent back and calf concerns.

The 34-year-old missed England's opening victory of the tournament against Australia due to a back spasm, while a calf problem was the reason behind his omission in the decisive win against New Zealand.

James Tredwell deputised for Swann against the Kiwis, and England captain Alastair Cook says the latter will not be risked unnecessarily with the Ashes only a matter of weeks away.

"We have not trained yet so we will see how he pulls up in training," Cook told BBC Sport.

"We will not be taking too many risks on him, just for the luxury we have with James Tredwell in our squad."

Topics:
England cricket
South Africa cricket
AB de Villiers
Dale Steyn
Cricket

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