Proteas to take late decision on Steyn

Dale Steyn could be rested as South Africa takes on Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy opener.

Dale Steyn. Picture: AFP

LONDON - A decision on strike bowler Dale Steyn's participation in the opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy on Thursday will only be made just before the Proteas face India in Cardiff.

Steyn, seen as key to his team's chances, has been diagnosed with a mild left side strain, having complained of tightness during the team's warm-up loss to Pakistan on Monday.

"Dale remains doubtful for the match, with a decision on his availability to be made early on Thursday as he continues to receive intensive treatment," said a Cricket South Africa statement.

Captain AB de Villiers, speaking at a news conference in Cardiff, suggested the team might err on the side of caution.

"It's not looking good, but we'll just reassess and make a final call... There are a few more games coming up so we wouldn't want him out for the rest of the tournament."

The captain said his team were confident despite the poor performance in the six-wicket defeat by Pakistan.

"We come here as a tough team," De Villiers said.

"Mentally we feel ready and we feel strong. I think the other thing that is very good is to have walked into a very good Pakistan team on a wicket that did a bit in the morning. All of the bowlers had a nice work through, it was really good.

"It's not a bad thing to lose those warm up games," he added. "It's a bit of a wake up call and it reminds us that this is the time to go. We're in the big tournament now. There is no more room for error."

South Africa play Pakistan on Monday at Edgbaston and West Indies back in Cardiff in their other Group B matches with the top two going through to the semifinals.