Steyn cautioned Rohit about a possible threat during the upcoming World Cup on their home turf by listing five fast bowlers to keep an eye on. In a recent interview, ahead of the 2023 World Cup, Indian captain Rohit Sharma acknowledged Dale Steyn as the toughest bowler he’d faced.
Surprisingly, a few days later, the South African legend admitted that he himself found it challenging to bowl to Rohit during his illustrious career, with only a few successful encounters. However, Steyn, in a separate conversation, offered Rohit a word of caution regarding a potential threat he might encounter during the upcoming World Cup on home soil, listing five fast bowlers to keep an eye on in the tournament.
Dale Steyn issues a World Cup warning to Rohit Sharma
The 2023 ODI World Cup starts on October 5, with England and New Zealand commencing the tournament in Ahmedabad, reprising the 2019 final. India, on the other hand, begins their campaign on October 8 against Australia in Chennai. Before that, as part of their preparations, they will play a warm-up match against the Netherlands. Their initial warm-up game against defending champions England was cancelled due to rain in Guwahati.
In a video shared by the ICC on their Instagram page, Steyn unveiled five fast bowlers he believed could make an impact at the 2023 World Cup. One of these pacers was Pakistan’s Shaheen Shah Afridi, and notably, Steyn’s comments about him were centred on the Indian captain. He said: “Rohit Sharma, watch your pads!”
They encountered each other on three occasions in ODI matches: once during the 2018 Asia Cup and twice in the continental event in the previous month of 2023. Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed Rohit Sharma’s wicket in the first match of this year, which took place during the group stage. However, in the second encounter, Rohit managed to stay at the crease.
Overall, Rohit Sharma has accumulated 33 runs off 42 balls when facing the left-arm pacer in ODIs, and he was dismissed once.
Steyn overlooks Jasprit Bumrah
Steyn excluded Bumrah from his selection of five fast bowlers, with only one Indian cricketer making the cut. The seasoned fast bowler opted for Mohammed Siraj, explaining: “He swings the ball upfront, knock over the big batters, key player for India.”
The remaining three fast bowlers are Kagiso Rabada from South Africa, Trent Boult from New Zealand, and Mark Wood from England. In fact, Steyn foretold that Boult would likely be the top wicket-taker in this World Cup.