Proteas

Steyn sets sights on CWC glory

2014-10-06 19:00
Dale Steyn (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Proteas' fast bowler Dale Steyn says winning the cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is his top priority.

"We (the Proteas) are just trying to be a part of that puzzle, that when it's finished, it has a big W on it," said Steyn in Johannesburg on Monday.

"It's nice to have inspiring guys like AB de Villiers and Vernon Philander. Watching AB bat, watching Hashim Amla bat, watching Vern and Morne Morkel perform, it makes you want to be a better player yourself.

"I don't want to be better than them, I just want to be able to participate in a winning side.

"If I can win that World Cup without taking one wicket, I can still have a winner's medal around my neck."

South Africa play three ODIs against New Zealand starting on October 21, then three T20s against Australia before a five-match ODI series against the Aussies in their lead-up to the international showpiece, which starts in February.

In the last World Cup, South Africa suffered defeat at the hands of the lesser-fancied New Zealand at the first knockout phase in the quarter-final.

In that match, South Africa were unsuccessful in chasing a moderate score of 222 set for victory, eventually falling to 172 all out as they crashed out of the tournament.

"New Zealand are a dark horse team whenever there is a tournament around.

"We all know Australia is a good team - they're in your face all the time, it's pretty annoying really.

"New Zealand are one of those teams that can be nowhere for three years and get to a World Cup and they just suddenly turn it on.

"For us it's important that guys like Quinton de Kock go there and familiarise themselves with those conditions, and the players they're going to be playing against."

With the return of fellow fast bowler Philander to the ODI side, Steyn believed his teammate would bring the vital ingredient for success.

Philander missed the triangular series against Zimbabwe and Australia in Zimbabwe last month through injury, but was a welcome addition to the side which tours New Zealand and Australia in the next month.

"Vern has that attitude that he's better than everybody. It's great to have.

"If you think you are better than someone else, you're that step ahead of them. He does that with the ball, he does that all the time with his ability and skill."

Though Philander made his debut for the Proteas in ODIs back in 2007, the seamer has yet to find his feet in the 50-over format with just 17 wickets from 15 matches.

But as his Test performances suggest - 115 wickets at an average of 21.57 from 26 matches - the line-and-length seamer would have much to offer at the upcoming World Cup.

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