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Dale Steyn ruled out of South Africa`s opening World Cup fixture

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Ottis Gibson

The 35-year-old Steyn is still not at 100% as he continues to recover from the shoulder injury that saw him return home from the IPL earlier this month.

South Africa first won a knockout match at World Cup in 2015 when they defeated Sri Lanka in the quarter-final but suffered a last-over heartbreak to hosts New Zealand in the semi-final that shattered their dreams.

Fast bowler Anrich Nortje was ruled out before the tournament because of a thumb fracture sustained in training. His talent and the likes of Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris and Dwaine Pretorius gives du Plessis reason to stay upbeat.

Perhaps, the most freaky fixture in the World Cup remains the 1992 semi-final when byzantine rain rules denied Kepler Wessels-led South Africans a date with Pakistan in the final.

"I don't feel that at all", he said. "If we don't, life goes on".

He said he is not surprised by their recent success in the 50-overs format that has set them up as pre-tournament favourites.

Wood was scheduled to bowl during the warm-up immediately before Monday's practice match against Afghanistan but will not play any part in the fixture itself.

"We know that he's close and he's getting closer every day", Gibson said. Perhaps that has changed for me, the fact that I'm no longer desperate.

England, the world's top-ranked one-day worldwide side and the tournament favourites, included fast bowler Liam Plunkett in a line-up captained by Eoin Morgan, with Tom Curran missing out on his Surrey home ground.

The transformation has been remarkable, with Eoin Morgan's men climbing to the top of the one-day global rankings and twice setting a new record for the highest one-day worldwide total, which now stands at 481 for six.

The fifth member of this lethal bowling unit would usually be Dale Steyn, but the veteran quick will miss today's opener with a shoulder injury.

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