Australia in SA

Steyn roars back to form

2011-11-10 08:00
Dale Steyn (Gallo)
Cape Town - Dale Steyn may not have been at his devastating best during the recently completed one-day international (ODI) series against Australia but he roared back to form with a four-wicket haul as South Africa restricted the same opponents to 214 for eight on the first day of the first Test in Cape Town.

The 28-year-old Steyn captured four for 31 off 14 overs and produced a performance that gladdened the hearts of Proteas’ supporters and would have pleased his team-mates even more.

Steyn’s pace was noticeably down during the 2-1 ODI series loss to Australia but he found his groove in Cape Town as he regularly sent down deliveries over the 145km/h mark while he even touched the 150km/h mark on a few occasions.

The amiable paceman, off the field at least, said that his return to form was down to simple hard work.

“My intensity changed. If I'm brutally honest, my intensity wasn't there as much in the one-dayers – not that I wasn’t looking for it during the ODIs, I’m always looking for it,” he explained after the first day’s play on Wednesday.

“When you come off a long break the only way to get bowling fit is by bowling lots of overs and unfortunately I didn’t have that opportunity.

“Against Australia you have to hit your straps hard and in the ODIs I didn’t do that but I’ve done a lot of hard work in the last few days,” he explained.

Steyn, like most of the national squad players, enjoyed an extended break from the game after the World Cup campaign ended in March and his competitive warm-up for Australia’s visit consisted of the Champions League Twenty20 and a short burst in a washed-out domestic one-day game for the Cape Cobras against the Dolphins.

But he said that the benefits of the break would only be seen in over a year’s time after South Africa had concluded tours of New Zealand, England and the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

“I played a bit of cricket (in the lead up to the Australia tour) but a lot of people questioned whether I should have played a four-day game. But trust me, at the end of next year at the end of all the tours the break that I’ve had will make a lot more sense,” he added.

Steyn found considerable swing during the first day’s play in Cape Town while he was not averse to sending down a few well-directed short balls and his duel with Michael Clarke, at the start of Clarke’s innings, was one to savour as Steyn struck Clarke a few painful blows.

Steyn even found the breath to have a few words at Clarke but Australia’s captain showed wonderful fortitude to fight back to score a superb, unbeaten century.

The ‘Phalaborwa Express’ was full of praise for Clarke’s innings.

“He batted pretty well didn’t he,” Steyn chuckled.

“We wanted to come hard at him and show why we put them in to bat. He's a young skipper and if you cut the head off the leader, the rest might fall apart. In pretty tough conditions like today, it's what you do. We hit him hard, but congratulations to him, he batted bloody well."

Steyn may be the top-rated test match bowler on the official International Cricket Council rankings but he said his team-mates paid more attention to the rating than he did.

“Those rankings are a bit funny to be honest. It means nothing when you walk out on the field. You still have to go out there and bowl the ball. I don’t have this big halo over my head that says ‘number one’. The batsmen don’t really care but it is pretty cool when you team-mates remind you of it and pump you up,” he said.

Steyn will be chasing his 17th fifth-wicket haul in Test cricket when play resumes on Thursday and few would bet against him achieving the feat.

Read more on:    australia in sa  |  dale steyn  |  cape town
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
Fixtures
17 December 2014
South Africa v West Indies, Centurion 10:30
26 December 2014
South Africa v West Indies, Port Elizabeth 10:30
02 January 2015
South Africa v West Indies, Cape Town 10:30
Previous Results

Date Match Result
Vote

Graeme Smith's shock decision to retire is...

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.