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SA banking on X-factor Steyn

Calcutta/ Chittagong: Having lost to Sri Lanka by five runs in their opening match of the World T20, South Africa will be eager to bounce back when they face New Zealand in a crucial Group 1 clash, at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, in Chittagong, on Monday.

The Proteas will be aware that another slip up will hurt their chances of reaching the semi-finals. But their task will not be easy. Their opponents, New Zealand, are on a high after beating England in the first game.

Leading from the front was Brendon McCullum. The wicket-keeper batsman’s cameo guided the side to the victory and he will be looking for a long haul. And not only the individuals, the team is also in terrific form. The Black Caps have won four of their last five outings in the Twenty20 format.

South Africa’s JP Duminy recognises that New Zealand will be a tough nut to crack and knows the pressure is on them as they look to get off the mark.

South Africa are still uncertain about the availability of their captain Faf du Plessis, who is recovering from a hamstring niggle. Du Plessis missed their tournament opener but trained at optional practice on Sunday and will have a fitness test on Monday morning to determine whether he can play.

Duminy said Steyn is the X-factor in the South African side. “As for Dale, he was obviously fit to play and he put in a good performance, bar the first over. He is the X-factor for us… So we’re going to need his services.” South Africa are going to need more than just Steyn’s services if they want to go deep in this tournament.