Steyn backing his skills

2016-03-16 21:41
Dale Steyn (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas pace spearhead, Dale Steyn, says he is relishing the prospect of running in and testing his skills on sub-continent conditions in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament. The Proteas play their opening two matches at the seam-friendly conditions of the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, but play their third match against the West Indies at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur, which produced a rank turner in the encounter between India and New Zealand on Tuesday.

“I’ve always said that I can bowl on any track,” he said to the media in Mumbai on Wednesday. “I prefer the wickets that are slower and turning. The ball stops and makes it tough for batsmen to hit you out of the ground, especially at a ground like Nagpur which is a big ground. I guess New Zealand’s thinking was correct and playing three spinners paid off for them but we know what our strengths are.

“As a seamer I back myself,” he said. “ I can bowl fast cutters, it’s difficult to hit the ball out of the ground when it’s coming at 140 or 145 and it’s gripping and stopping. You don’t have to worry about running in and bowling the perfect yorker, you can bowl a back-of-a-length ball, one might bounce, one might stay low, it’s really tough batting in those conditions.”   

The Proteas’ preparation is coming to a close ahead of their first match on Friday, and the squad will be taking confidence and momentum into the group stages of the tournament after solid outcomes in their warm-up matches. They also have the psychological advantage of being one-up on their opponents after the recently concluded series in South Africa.

While T20 cricket remains a lottery for most parts of the match, Steyn believes success  as a bowler in this format comes down to clear game plans and the ability to bounce back from one bad ball in a spell. He has put his injury setbacks behind him and is motivated to make an impact with the ball after a frustrating few months on the side lines.  

“When I walked into the side for the Australia series I could see the guys were glowing with confidence,” he said. “I was watching guys who normally sit on the side lines like Kyle Abbott and so coming in, landing their yorkers, landing their slower balls and oozing confidence. It was great to be out of the side because when I walked back in I realised how much I had missed it and how much these guys have grown as a team, even in that two month gap.”

“I need to do what I need to do to win a game of cricket,” he said. “ I don’t want to say that we have the upper hand but we have beaten them (England) in the shorter format and they do know it. “Again, it’s T20 cricket, I hate to count my chickens before they hatch, I want to tell you what I can do and what I can tell you is that I am fit and strong to play so I will do that.” 

Read more on:    proteas  |  dale steyn  |  cricket

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