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Still plenty to come from De Villiers, Steyn: RCB's Hesson

Britain Cricket - New Zealand Nets - Sophia Gardens - June 8, 2017 New Zealand coach Mike Hesson during nets Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge Livepic/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - South African stalwarts AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn still have plenty to offer at this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) despite their recent lack of involvement in top-level cricket, Royal Challengers Bangalore team director Mike Hesson has said.

De Villiers, 36, quit international cricket in 2018 but plays in Twenty20 leagues in South Africa and Australia. He was on the winning team in an experimental three-team tournament in July.

“Only a matter of weeks ago he took part in a match in South Africa and once again he was a standout player, having just come out of his living room. So that certainly showed the quality of player he is,” Hesson told a virtual media conference from Dubai on Wednesday.

“He’s had very, very good franchise tournaments around the world the last 12 months and he’s in good touch.

“Physically, he’s feeling good and refreshed. And once again, he’s one of the few in the group that are absolutely chomping at the bit to get into training.”

Fast bowler Steyn, who quit tests in 2019 to prolong his limited overs career, has played three Twenty20 International matches this year in addition to his stint in the Pakistan Super League.

“He’s developing his game,” former New Zealand head coach Hesson said of the 37-year-old quick.

“We saw some different deliveries that he’s been able to develop over the last six months. So he’s certainly not ready to retire yet, certainly very keen to make a contribution this IPL.”

This year’s IPL will be played in the United Arab Emirates from Sept. 19.

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford