South Africa ace Dale Steyn is all set to make his much-awaited return to cricket field during the Ram Slam T20 Challenge game between the Titans and Knights at Kimberly on Wednesday (November 15).
The Proteas and Titans star has not played a competitive game since breaking a bone in his right shoulder during the Test against Australia in November 2016 in Perth. He was expected to return to action during the series in England for South Africa A in May this year, but he failed to recover in time. Thus his spell on the sidelines was extended as he withdrew from the two four-day games series as his recovery from surgery took longer than the expected six-months timeline.
He started bowling in nets last month and is now all set to resume it on the field.
Speaking to Titans’ official website, Steyn said:
“I am ready to go. Yes, I haven’t played in a year, but there are no massive expectations. I am just looking forward to playing again and feeling part of the game.”
And while his return has surely caused excitement, the fast-bowler was quick to remind everyone of what to expect.
“I’m not asking people to sit back and think I’m going to bowl at 150 kmph and that I’m going to take five wickets. If I can get through the game with minimal damage in terms of economy rate and pick up a wicket or two that would be great,” he said.
Steyn’s addition, meanwhile, will bolster the star-studded Titans lineup which already have the likes of AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Albie Morkel.
The 34-year old further lauded the team’s performance in the season-opener (rain-curtailed) where the defending champions thrashed Highveld Lions. Chasing 135 in 15 overs, Titans rode on AB de Villiers’ 19-ball 50 not out and Albie Morkel’s 16-ball 41 to chase down the total in just 11.2 overs.
“It was a quality performance,” Steyn said. “When you’ve got all those Proteas like AB and Quinny in the side, it does pack a punch for the opposition bowlers. And then Albie came in and what he did was pretty special.
Speaking about his role in the side, he said:
“I’m going to slot in where I’m needed. We need to play within our strengths. Albie’s strength is definitely to take the new ball and get two overs out of the way. For me, I want to get overs under the belt. If I look back at the way I’ve played over my career, I generally bowl two up front and one in the middle and one at the death – that’s probably how I’m best utilised.
“If I was playing against the Titans I would be worried looking at our batting line-up and the nature of our bowling line-up. We’ve got guys like Tabraiz (Shamsi), who can really out-spin you and then quicks that can blow you away,” he added.
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