ENGLAND spinner Adil Rashid is hoping to nurse his shoulder through the World Cup with the help of "a few pills and a few stretches".

The Yorkshireman has been managing muscle impingement in his right shoulder in recent weeks, an issue which helped persuade selectors to bring slow left-armer Liam Dawson into the 15-man squad as spin cover.

He admits his bowling can be affected when the pain strikes but is confident he will be able to perform to the best of his ability during the six-week tournament, which starts against South Africa tomorrow.

"Hopefully I'm fully fit, or verging on fully fit, and coming into the game I'll be ready to go," he said.

"I've had a bit of wear and tear over the years, which can happen. It does affect me if I've got that impingement or pain, the rotation can be a bit difficult and you may not get the revs you want.

"The drift, the dip, the googly is a bit harder to come by. But it's just about managing it, getting the right treatment from the physio and getting rehab. I'm sure I'll get through with a few pills and a few stretches. I'm ready to go for the whole tournament."

Rashid will come up against fellow leg-spinner Imran Tahir at the Oval, with both men likely to play a major role for their team in the coming weeks.

"He's a world-class bowler and he's proved that over the last 10 years. He's got variations and a bit of character too, which is positive," said Rashid.

"I've gone for dinner with him a few times. I've told him a few things and he's told me a few things. It's good helping each other out and maybe it will be his day against us or maybe it will be my day."

South Africa, meanwhile, will not risk Dale Steyn for tomorrow's tournament opener as the paceman continues his comeback from a shoulder injury.

At 35, Steyn is still a key part of the attack, but the decision has been made to ease him into the tournament gently rather than rush him back to face the hosts.

With Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi both cleared for action, Steyn is being treated with kid gloves and may not feature until South Africa's third game against India.

"He's not quite ready yet - not far away but not ready," said head coach Ottis Gibson.

"We think with a six-week tournament there's no real need to force the issue just now. We know he's close and he's getting closer every day."

Gibson's previous role before taking over the Proteas was as England's fast-bowling coach, a role he has held on two separate occasions.

During that time he worked at length with the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad and was quick to note that the pair have been talking up the home nation's chances of lifting the trophy for the first time.

"I heard somewhere that my two very good friends Broad and Anderson have said that England will have to do something really bad not to win this World Cup," he said.

"As far as they are concerned England have won it already!

"To play the hosts, the number one team, is the best way to start, because it gives us a real sense of where we are and what we need to do going forward.

"But you don't have to be number one to win the tournament and sometimes you can win the tournament and you don't even go to number one."

Gibson represented Glamorgan, Leicestershire and Durham during a long playing career and also toured England with the West Indies. The idea that he was not familiar with the layout of the facilities in Surrey is, therefore, something of a stretch, but that did not stop him signing off with a wry observation.

"I'll tell you, I didn't realise the away dressing room was so small at the Oval," he said.

"We're squeezed in there nice and tight, which is cool because we've been a tight-knit group for the last 18 months."