ICC World Twenty20

More to come from 'hungry' Steyn

2016-03-29 10:25
Dale Steyn (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Before the squad's departure to the ICC World Twenty20 in India, Dale Steyn's inclusion was considered imperative to South Africa's chances. 

Despite battling a shoulder injury in the build-up to the tournament, Steyn was given the nod ahead of Morne Morkel and he had two matches against Australia to prove his fitness. 

He did that, and didn't look too shabby either. 

Having then been selected for South Africa's tournament opener against England, Steyn immediately bowled himself of the team with figures of 0/35 in just 2 overs.

It was not the impact that the Proteas had hoped Steyn would bring, and it cost him his place in the side for the next match against Afghanistan, which the Proteas won comfortably. 

With a spin-friendly wicket in Nagpur up next in a crucial clash against the West Indies, the Proteas left the pace responsibilities on the shoulders of 20-year-old Kagiso Rabada as Steyn looked on from the sidelines once more.

By the time the 'Phalaborwa Express' found himself back in the side - for Monday's final Group 1 clash against Sri Lanka - the Proteas had already been bundled out of the tournament. 

Steyn recovered from going for 20 in his opening 2 overs to finish with 1/33 (4), but the 32-year-old would not have been happy with his contribution at the tournament. 

Captain Faf du Plessis was asked about Steyn's tournament, and his future, immediately after the 8-wicket win over Sri Lanka.

"He was injured for a while and he came back against Australia and did really well," Du Plessis said of Steyn.

"The hard thing for Dale is that he was out of the team for so long and when you’re out for that long you give guys an opportunity to stake their claim.

"Kagiso (Rabada) has grabbed it with both hands … he’s won a lot of games for us and because he’s done that it’s hard to overlook a guy."

Du Plessis added that Steyn had simply missed out in South Africa's middle games due to stiff competition in the squad.

"Dale was close to playing (against the West Indies), even in the previous game (against Afghanistan) because he’s a world class player and experienced, but we’ve got some great seamers," said the skipper.

"It’s just a case of really good competition."

Asked to comment on Steyn's future, Du Plessis was diplomatic.

"The future of Dale … I’m not the guy to ask. You’ll have to ask Dale that question," said Du Plessis.

"He looks hungry still … he still wants to play cricket. I don’t think he’s even thinking about retiring from any format."

South Africa do not play T20I cricket again until January 2017 after they have hosted Sri Lanka in a three-match Test series, but Du Plessis is expecting Steyn to be a big part of the Proteas' year.

"It’s a bit of One-Day cricket and then red ball stuff where Dale, well he loves red ball cricket," said Du Plessis.

"I think you’re still going to see a hungry Dale Steyn this year for us."

The Proteas were due to arrive back from the World Twenty20 on Tuesday evening.


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