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Champions Trophy: South Africa face decision on Dale Steyn against India

Dale Steyn: A side-strain could rule him out of the tournament opener

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South Africa are unlikely to risk Dale Steyn in Thursday's opening Champions Trophy clash with India in Cardiff.

The experienced fast bowler is a key member of a Proteas squad shorn of Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, but the 29-year-old suffered a side-strain in the warm-up defeat to Pakistan and although he has not been ruled out of the Group B encounter, captain AB de Villiers is keen to avoid further damage.

"It's obviously not looking good, but we will re-assess him tonight and tomorrow morning and make a final call on that," he said.

"There are a few more games coming up, this is not our one and only game, so we wouldn't like him to be ruled out of the rest of the tournament."

India enter the tournament as the reigning World Cup winners in the 50-over format and are expected to be a force once again in a much-shorterned competition that features two groups of four teams.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes his his side can cope with the pressure and their status as the best-supported team outside of the host nation.

"When you have fans people talk about the burden of expectation and in the Indian cricket team there are no situations where there is no pressure or expectation from the fans following us.

"When we play warm-up games we are expected to win, even thought it is about getting the most out of them.

"If we don't win warm-up games people say 'they only win the big games', and when you do win it they say 'it's only a warm-up game so it doesn't matter'.

"We always welcome this double-edged sword, we just have to balance it in the right way."

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