South Africa have been perennial underachievers at the World Cup but pace sensation Dale Steyn believes the Proteas are pumped up and are willing to give their best at the quadrennial tournament, starting May 30 in England and Wales. South Africa aka ‘Proteas’ have had hearthbreaks at the World Cup due to rain rule in 192, a run out in 1999 and Dale Steyn’s penultimate over in 2015, they have been pencil thin close to reach the final of the biggest event in cricket.
With AB de Villiers retiring months ahead of the World Cup, South Africa are not among the favourites but Dale Steyn is confident the Proteas will forget the past and play as a unit.
Marred by injury concerns in the recent past, Dale Steyn has played very little ODI cricket in the last three years (13 matches since 2017) but the veteran pacer says he is ready to give his best.
Steyn, 35, is in the twilight of his career and modern-day great is keen on finishing his celebrated career with a World Cup medal around his neck.
"I will give my best during this World Cup. I have got all the important trophies in my drawing room except this World Cup. I want to have the World Cup medal before I quit the game," Steyn told The Times of India.
"I am just not bothered [about choker's tag following South Africa]. Incidentally, we could not win any World Cup title after coming back to international cricket. In 1992, we lost due to a silly rain rule. After that, we did well but we could not win the Cup."
Steyn conceded South Africa aren't being considered favourites but said the team is confident in the lead up to the big tournament. South Africa open their campaign against overwhelming favourites and hosts, England on May 30.
"... The whole team is motivated like never before. I am personally trying to convince my teammates that we should not waste this opportunity as well. I was injured before the IPL. But rehabilitation was going on. I have been telling my physio that I have to be fit, fully fit for the World Cup. We'll start the campaign as one of the confident teams," Steyn added.
"[Our] Batting department will have specialist batsmen and three to four allrounders. If you go through the list, it may not be great but quite good. The atmosphere of World Cup will encourage the whole team to do well.
"We'll tell ourselves, 'let us all give it a go'. Forget about the past. But prove the whole world that South Africa also can play excellent brand of cricket. And if we can manage to do that, we'll progress in the tournament."