Steyn sniffs T20 Cup success
Dale Steyn has his eyes on the T20 World Cup in Australia this year as he takes on an added responsibility as mentor to his team’s young fast bowlers.
Regarded as one of the greatest quicks to play the game, the South Africa pacer has been laid low by injury for long periods in the last three years.
The 36-year-old is set to play his first T20I since March 2019 when South Africa host England in the first match of a three-game series at Buffalo Park on Wednesday.
Steyn, who ended his Test career in August having taken 439 wickets in 93 matches, says his only goal at the moment is to play in the T20 World Cup this October.
“With Test cricket, the workload was too much. I want to extend my career for as long as I can,” Steyn told reporters on Tuesday. “In Test cricket, you can bowl 20 overs in a day, which is five T20s, so it was a smart decision. As long as the desire is there to play at the highest level, to get batters out and outsmart them.”
Steyn admitted that he had to adapt his game after chronic shoulder problems reduced his once blistering pace, but has enjoyed challenging himself to find new ways to get batsmen out. “I want to keep experimenting and trying to change my game,” he said. “If I’m only going to play one more match, I want to take a wicket with every ball, not try and defend a boundary.”
Steyn spent most of his career in the same team as current South Africa coach Mark Boucher and director of cricket Graeme Smith, and now that he is one of the few seniors left in a young squad, he has added responsibility.
“This is a young group of players and my role is to orchestrate the bowling attack a little bit,” Steyn said. “I want to stand at mid-off and say to the bowler, ‘What are you thinking?’ And hopefully they can learn and get better.”