Steyn's fearsome lust for wickets

2014-12-20 16:57
Dale Steyn (AFP)

Pretoria - There are few more fearsome sights in cricket than a fired-up Dale Steyn - even a wounded one.

When the South African speedster limped off the field with a groin problem on the third day of the opening Test against the West Indies, there would have been relief in the tourists' dressing-room.

It would be short-lived, however, as he returned on Saturday morning, much to the surprise of the visitors, to decimate their batting line-up and take the Proteas to a massive innings and 220-run victory in Pretoria.

Having gone wicketless in the first innings, a rarity for the world's top-ranked test bowler, Steyn hit back with a fierce spell to record figures of 6-34 in 8.2 overs and lift his career tally to 389 wickets in 76 Tests.

"I love taking wickets; I love getting into players' heads. Give me a red ball, I am just going to bowl," Steyn told reporters.

"I like to get the people out, it doesn't matter whose batting on the other side just give me the ball. I love playing Test cricket."

The 31-year-old admits he was below par in the first innings, which only fuelled his lust for wickets on Saturday as he upped his pace and aggression.

"Sometimes you go past the edge, sometimes you find it and when you do find it, you are making batters play a little bit more," Steyn said.

"Yesterday I felt I was okay but the ball found the bat and went into the gaps. Today, I was a little bit more consistent. I didn't deserve the wickets yesterday, I deserved them today."

Steyn has built a reputation of being a taker of 'big' wickets and so it proved again when he removed the two most experienced players in the West Indian line-up, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels.

After they were gone, it was only a matter of time before the rest followed.

"Chanderpaul and Samuels are two of the big players for them," Steyn said.

"That's not to say the rest of the guys can't contribute but we know those are the two big wickets and once we get that there is a feeling of ease."

The next test is in Port Elizabeth starting on Boxing Day, where Steyn produced one of the great spells of fast bowing in recent test history to win the game against Australia in February.

It promises to be a not very merry Christmas for the West Indies batsman as they contemplate that reunion.

Read more on:    proteas  |  dale steyn  |  cricket

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