South African key pacer Dale Steyn feels that he is still strong to serve his country as a lead pacer.
Steyn roared with full of confidence, “I am still one of the fittest guys in the team and at 32, I’m not certainly not old. I feel like I’m 27 and sometimes act like I’m 18 so I do not see any issues with either my age or my body. I would say as well that before my recent injury I played eight years and I think 48 Test matches in a row. So I’m feeling pretty strong and fit and the ball is coming out of the hand fine. I should be fine for all four Tests.”
Steyn suffered a groin injury during the India series where he missed out the last three Test matches. But he is fit now and ready to make a strong comeback against England, which will be going to start this “Boxing Day”.
Steyn said, “I wouldn’t say that my body is rebelling against age, no way. I still feel strong and fit. But as you get older you do need to keep finding different ways of taking wickets because people get used to the way you bowl.
“Over a long period of time now I have been doing things in a similar way – I bowl fast and I bowl away swing and I land the ball in the right area. Bowling fast at 140-145kph and throwing in skiddy bouncers is what I do and on a good day with a greasy pitch and the wind behind I can hit 150kph. I am still useful to the team. I don’t know how long I will keep going, but I do know I would step aside now if I felt I could not contribute to this team and I still feel I can take this team to places it has been before and beyond.”
On India tour, though, South Africa won the limited-over series in India, but they were thrashed out in the Test format by 3-0.
Steyn admitted that South African team is facing in a transition period at the present moment, after the retirement of some senior players like Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis.
Steyn said, “Every team goes through that circle but when you look back a couple of years we had such a wonderful cricket team under Graeme Smith and losing a guy who could averages close to 50 as an open batter and gave such a good platform for the rest of the team to succeed was always going to be tough. Add to that Jacques Kallis, who was able to bowl on anything and make it difficult, and it has definitely been an issue for this team and finding players to fill those spots.”
Steyn added, “That was a team which didn’t need coaching, just man-management to bring the best out of the guys. This team now needs some coaching – we need to think about our cricket.
Steyn is also confident about the current squad. He commented, “We still have a wonderful cricket team, still the No1 in the world, and we are playing at home against a really good England side who themselves are also coming off a bit of a dodgy series in Dubai.”