London, May 25: After a fine win over Sri Lanka in their warm-up game, South African skipper Faf du Plessis said the return of his premier fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada from injuries was a welcome sign.
Ngidi picked up 2/12 from his six overs as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 251 chasing 339 to win. "I rate Lungi very highly. He is an exceptional fast bowler who is going to get wickets for us," du Plessis said.
Rabada bowled seven overs on his return from a back injury. "KG has been slowly building up, working on his action and working on his run-up. Today was the first time with he was bowling at full intensity," du Plessis said. "Chris Morris was a bit rusty, he hasn't played much cricket but he still has time to try and get over that rustiness," the South African skipper added.
Morris will be competing with Andile Phehlukwayo and Dewald Pretorius for a place in the final XI. "There may be room for two, but that would depend on the fitness of Dale Steyn, who is "progressing," from a shoulder injury. "If our fast bowlers are all fit, we love that diversity in that attack," du Plessis said.
"Rassie has been exceptional for us the last 12 months. He fits in extremely well into any position: No.3, 4 and 5. He has put his name down for any of those positions," du Plessis said. "Today was beautiful to see Hash (Amla) play, the way Hash plays: quietly killing the bowling attack," he added.
The skipper top-scored with 88 off 69 balls to power his team to a big total. "It's important to try and let my actions back up my words. I feel if I am asking the batting unit to play with more freedom, not to fear failure and to be courageous, then I have to do it when I bat out there in the middle. I feel like the last year I have improved that aspect in my game. I have to keep making sure I lead with that."
Meanwhile, Rabada was pleased by his return although he felt he was a bit 'rusty'. "I felt a bit rusty, but it was good to get a run out in the middle and get a feel for things again," Rabada said. "There's no pain. I'm feeling alright, just rusty in terms of my bowling smoothness. But it's all a work in progress. That's why we have warm-up games so it'll be a challenge for me to get ready before the tournament starts.
"I've got my own cues I need to work on. I know that I just need to analyse a bit what happened against Sri Lanka and just work on a few things. I'm not really thinking about it too much. It's just a case of running in and focussing on my cues," he added.