South Africa in England 2012

'It doesn't need to be pretty' - Steyn

Firdose Moonda

July 13, 2012

Comments: 54 | Text size: A | A

Dale Steyn bowls in the nets, Canterbury, July 12, 2012
Dale Steyn limbers up in the nets at Canterbury ahead of the first Test © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Dale Steyn
Series/Tournaments: South Africa tour of England
Grounds: Kennington Oval

Dale Steyn has admitted to a win-at-all-costs attitude on the tour of England, knowing that victory will end years of being second-best and give South Africa the No. 1 Test ranking.

South Africa have been top of the ICC Test rankings only briefly in the past, for four months back in 2008, but have hovered close by since then. With an unbeaten record away from home since 2006, Steyn believes it is time for the team to stamp their authority.

"We don't care how the series goes, as long as we win," Steyn said in Canterbury, where South Africa are facing Kent in their final warm-up before the first Test at The Oval. "It doesn't need to be pretty, it doesn't need to be beautiful with guys scoring hundreds and guys taking five-fors. We just want to get the job done."

The contest between the two bowling attacks has been the most anticipated match-up of the series and while he would not draw a comparison, Steyn called South Africa's current pack "fantastic."

Graeme Smith, the Test captain, has also hailed the unit as one of the best he has worked with and attributed consistency in selection to their fine performances of late. "We've got experience and the guys know how to bowl in different conditions," Steyn said. "It's also been the same group of guys for quite a while and there's a lot of trust between us."

Although Steyn is often referred to as the kingpin of the attack, he denied that there is any hierarchy among the bowlers in contrast to England where Jimmy Anderson is widely perceived to be the guiding force in the group. He expresses the belief that the likes of Morne Morkel, Lopsy Tsotsobe, Vernon Philander and the leg spinner Imran Tahir share equal responsibility.

"There's nobody that leads the attack. If you are looking for a leader, you're always looking for the guys that have been around the longest but when it comes to bowling, any of us are capable of doing the job," Steyn said. "It's not like we are looking at a leader to stand up and take five wickets for us on the day. Whether its Morne or Lopsy or Imran, all of them are capable of bowling teams out by themselves."

Despite that confidence in his team mates, Steyn remains the go-to man when Smith needs wickets because of his superior speed.

"There are times when my team needs me to bowl really fast and make something happen. You need those types of players who can break an end open for you," Steyn said. "That's something that I've got in my arsenal that Graeme treasures. When we need a wicket, he tends to throw the ball to me because I can make it happen with pace."

It showed in the tour match against Kent, when Smith brought Steyn on to break an opening stand which had grown to 81. Steyn had an appeal in his first over and got a wicket in his second. But Steyn knows that with that expectation there is responsibility as well. "I also need to be bowling in the right areas. You can't bowl at 150 and be bowling it all over the show, that's not going to help." Even though wicket-taking is always on his mind, Steyn said he has no preference for which scalps he picks up and has not identified any of the England batsman specifically as a prized scalp.

"I've seen South Africa on previous tours where I haven't played for them in Australia and Glenn McGrath and Mike Hussey put on 150-run partnership and the value of that tenth wicket means a lot more than the ninth one," he said. "It just shows you that you can't put too much emphasis on one particular person, you have to worry about everything."

He also does not mind if the spoils are shared as long as the team benefits. "Even if I only take one wicket in the whole series, as long as we win, I will still be on the balcony with a big smile on my face and I will be stoked," he said.

This South African squad sound a focused bunch with common purpose. But, Steyn said, they also have a bigger picture in mind. Mark Boucher's serious eye injury which forced him to retire on Tuesday still hangs heavily on everyone.

"Everyone is going on and on about being the No. 1 Test side in the world but when one of my friends possibly loses an eye and his whole life is about to change that means so much more to me than any cricket game that I will ever play," he said. "Having said that, I am here to play cricket so I have to focus on that. Reality struck down hard when that happened and it just put things into perspective."

The team have not specifically adopted a "do it for Mark" strategy, according to Steyn, but will try to pay tribute to the veteran wicket-keeper in the best way they can. "We wanted to win this series before the incident. However, it does add a little extra inspiration or motivation because Mark would have wanted to stand on that podium."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by HadleeCrowe on (July 16, 2012, 15:28 GMT)

to stand up and take five wickets for us on the day. Whether its Morne or Lopsy or Imran, all of them .... anyone notice a name missing here???? Curious that he mentions no one needs to take a 5 for when it is philander who has been getting bags in almost every game.... bit of bad blood between the steyn and philander???

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 16, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

@risimati_l (post on July 16 2012, 10:46 AM GMT): I don't know who's been saying that England has the superior batting line-up, but I wouldn't predict this series on stats alone. In the ICC Player Rankings, D.W. Steyn is ranked as a 'Test Allrounder'... Sorry, but he's not going to make any team of mine for his batting alone! Stats are nice and mostly work when there's 100 games, but these days sadly it's hard to get even 3...

Posted by JG2704 on (July 16, 2012, 11:45 GMT)

@ AKS286 on (July 15 2012, 17:40 PM GMT) As a Somerset fan , I'm also a big fan of Tres. The guy is a legend at the club and I believe he's making his comeback from injury for the 2nd XI. He has been out injured for most of this season. R_U_4_REAL_NICK has already explained why he retired from Eng. He could not tour due to his depression and it would not be good for both parties to have a player who could only play at home. As a Somerset fan this has been good. Last season his form was immense. Hoggard is now pretty much a journeyman , Jones seems to start finding a bit of rhythm and then gets injured again and Harmisson I believe has been loaned out to another county such is his poor form

Posted by risimati_l on (July 16, 2012, 10:46 GMT)

the theory which says England has a better batting line up is just that a theory before anyone say such i suggest they go onto the players link and see all the batting averages for players, while you doing that you can also visit the ICC rankings for test players you will see whose dominating those lists as well the only advantage that england has is that they playing at home. SA has the better talent in our team and may the best team win #pureprotea

Posted by AKS286 on (July 16, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

@ R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 15 2012, 20:28 PM GMT) Ok but he can play odi & t20 for ENG. ECB & senior players must talk to him and they don't discussed about his early retirement when he was taking it. if he is ready to play odi & t20 then eng team will become more strong and most important thing replacement of KP.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 15, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

@AKS286, (post on July 15 2012, 17:40 PM GMT): I also liked Marcus Trescothick. As explained in his profile here on Cricinfo, and also in his autobiography 'Coming Back to Me', depression and stress have blighted much of his life, forcing his untimely retirement from international cricket. I loved watching him opening for England... except against McGrath and Lee who sometimes got the better of him!

Posted by AKS286 on (July 15, 2012, 17:40 GMT)

someone is talking about INJURIES i bet can one beat KIWIS in the injuries, @JG2704 i want to ask you my favourite batsman of ENG is TRESCOTHICK i really miss him alot in every series, why he took early retirement? and why not he tried to comeback again?. why not harmison, hoggard in the international side. i heard simon jones is back in county and he performance is really well is it true? give me answer trescothick is my one of the favourite batsman.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 15, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

@praveen4honestremark: "It's just quality of play i like first"... That's great, but when you keep coming out with comments like "I see some English fans already crying even before series started. Hahahaha. Funny they are. :D :D :D", not to mention several posts during the England:Australia series, even you should be able to forgive others for thinking you're more anti-England as opposed to just enjoying and speculating good quality cricket between teams. This article for example just summarises Steyn's thinking and 'dressing-room feelings' of the upcoming series. Even Steyn doesn't come out with trashy remarks like "I'm/we're going to blow England over cheaply...". If you seriously predict a 3-0 thrashing, then sorry if I've misjudged you, but perhaps you'd like to back such statements up... justify them somehow? I myself am still 50:50.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 15, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

@praveen4honestremark on (July 14 2012, 17:21 PM GMT) - Apologies for not noticing your comms giving us Kudos in the past. Were they giving unreserved credit or were they also saying about them playing a wekened Indian side , winning toss etc as that was what most Indians seemed to say after that series? I just felt it would have been better - after your Aus prediction went wrong to either say "Well done Eng" or "Well done Eng - I knew Aus were not playing well but I still thought they had enough" . The fact is that on your last prediction you knew Lee and Watson were out when you made it but then cited that as a reason after Eng won. Please publish.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 15, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

@ashes61 - hey mate, welcome back. Where have you been? :-)

Posted by landl47 on (July 15, 2012, 0:32 GMT)

Praxis, interesting comment. Let me offer a suggestion. Some bowlers have a pronounced leap before their delivery stride. That means they come down very hard on both front and back foot and that puts strain on their legs and backs. Others have a smoother approach to the crease, which isn't as hard on the lower body. The leapers tend to get leg and back injuries more than those with smoother approaches. Examples: Zaheer Khan, Cummins, Lillee are all leapers and all have had considerable problems. Steyn, McGrath and Malcolm Marshall don't have that leap and haven't had the same level of issues. Obviously some people are just less injury-prone than others, but I think 'the leap' is a factor.

Posted by ashes61 on (July 15, 2012, 0:26 GMT)

Whatever happens, should be a very good series - weather permitting! Last time I thought Smith & Kallis both looked overweight - but Smith produced runs (& luck) just when needed. He needs to do so again, & may do as he usually scores heavily here. Kallis failed over here last time but had a great renaissance in 2011 & '12. He must be due for a few failures with the bat! He looks MUCH leaner now & his bowling action was beautifully athletic yesterday. In good bowling conditions, Morkel & Steyn were seen off by inexperienced openers quite comfortably, although they bowled very fast later. If Cook, Strauss & Trott can blunt the initial attack I can't see their lesser bowlers bowling ENG out (altho' Philander should suit ENG conditions). ENG superior in the field - SA not what they were in that dept. Our bowling & catching will be the key I think. A hard fought series - but ENG 3-0, with SA bats struggling against ENG attack. Let's all hope for a full recovery for Mark Boucher's eye.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 14, 2012, 21:32 GMT)

@AKS286 on (July 14 2012, 20:18 PM GMT) Agree with team balance at least.

Posted by AKS286 on (July 14, 2012, 20:32 GMT)

ENG vs SA is similar to WI vs NZ these two fighting for no 1 spot and these two will fight for last spot (forget bang). hahahaha but the level of intensity will be same on both series.

Posted by AKS286 on (July 14, 2012, 20:18 GMT)

@ JG2704 on (July 14 2012, 14:43 PM GMT) albie is the highly over rated player. his bowling is & batting all are POOR.same with mclaren. SA produced great all rounders but now its dumped(please don't mention kallis). ontong looks good. now your answer ENG's lethal Barrage jimmy, swann, cook, strauss. IMO eng should treat bresnan as an allrounder not as a third seamer. fiinn/onion/meaker wil be considered as 3rd pacer. about broad i know everything are against my opinion but i have no trust on Broad i don't know why? eng openers are best in the world. i don't know why strauss retired from odi. i love to watch his powerfull century against india in the WC'12. KP lost the respect.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (July 14, 2012, 19:05 GMT)

England will win this series because they are too strong at home. Look at what they did to australia in ODI series. I had hopes for SA but no more England is now too strong to beat at home. So good wishes for SA but Eng will win or draw this series by better play and because of their home conditions.

Looking forward to this series of top 2 teams in the world.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 14, 2012, 17:27 GMT)

@landl47 on (July 14 2012, 12:25 PM GMT)...SA is different from AUS :P; give me freedom to hope and support the team SA i liked always irrespective of whom they play with. Even i liked Steyn bowling against Indians. It's just quality of play i like first.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 14, 2012, 17:21 GMT)

@JG2704 on (July 14 2012, 14:38 PM GMT)....Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 14 2012, 05:52 AM GMT) Don't take it serious England fans when people say you defeated mediocre teams or what not. And also it is just not talked liked that every where what you are thinking.So leave it. You earned a lot of respect.You have been doing great splendid job from some months to come to a position where you are nearing to number 1 all formats. We congratulate for all your wins and it was your credit you won so many games - India. http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/current/story/572361.html?comments=all#comments I always applauded when you won, some u have never noticed me applauding that's it.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 14, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

I see some English fans already crying even before series started. Hahahaha. Funny they are. :D :D :D

Posted by allblue on (July 14, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

A few wild predictions here - most likely is Rain 3 Cricket 0 with this wretched excuse of a summer we've had so far. Hopefully the clouds relent to allow what promises to be Test cricket of the very highest calibre. I don't think I've ever seen two high quality sides as evenly matched - put the two XIs side-by-side and there's nothing between them. In such circumstances, it will probably be the small things - a dropped catch here, a missed run-out there that prove decisive. Under Flower and Strauss England have developed a steely streak, while SA have struggled with the mental side of things for years. However, Kirsten and Donald are a pair of level heads, if they can get heads right SA's last obvious weakness disappears. How Boucher's traumatic absence affects them will also be a key element. As an England fan I'd love to see us win, but if SA can come to England and win the battle of the best two Test sides currently, I'll have no problem recognising them as no.1 in the world.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 14, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

@AKS286 on (July 14 2012, 11:33 AM GMT) De Lange isn't capable of doing anything in this series - he's out of it. I too (if I was SA) would add another pacer (Tsotsobe). Van Der Merwe (not sure how good a test player he is) but he gets overlooked for T20s/ODIs these days. They have A Morkel coming in as an option to be an all rounder. And what about Eng's deadly barrage?

Posted by Last_ride on (July 14, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

England seem to be the better team at the moment.Especially as the series is happening in England where their Green Track bullies will thrive.@5wombats mate have to agree with you. But since That series against India England havent been all that brilliant either.

Posted by JG2704 on (July 14, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

@praveen4honestremark on (July 14 2012, 08:44 AM GMT) If England were to win this one , do we get the Kudos this time or are you going to Uturn again and say the opposition was bad? Please publish

Posted by SnowSnake on (July 14, 2012, 14:36 GMT)

To all my critics, I am only considering SA performance over last two periods. What SA did in 2006 is irrelevant because some of the players are not playing. Also, I have high respect for England, India and Australia due to the amount of cricket they play. It is not easy to perform consistently when you play so much cricket. SA does not play that much cricket so they better perform with the amount of rest they are getting. For now, I say England rocks!

Posted by warneneverchuck on (July 14, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

@5wombats. We don't bother WT u think abt Indian fans. But SA is the only team who has done well in home and away conditions. By the way it kooks like it's a series between SA 1 and SA 2 as eng has many players from SA

Posted by warneneverchuck on (July 14, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

Nobody is compaing here India with eng. Eng is a better team than India but SA can definately give trouble to eng in their own conditions.

Posted by kh1902 on (July 14, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

England appear to have the more robust batting line-up, with South Africa heavily dependent on Smith and De villiers in that department. That should be enough for them to close out the series. I'm a supporter of both India and Australia, but I still want England to win.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (July 14, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

ENGLAND WILL WIN BY 2-1 . ALL THE THREE MATCHES WILL BE ONE SIDED . IN TWO MATCHES ENGLAND WILL BE ON TOP FROM DAY 1 & IN ONE MATCH SA WILL BE DOMINATING FROM DAY 1 .

Posted by bored_iam on (July 14, 2012, 13:04 GMT)

@dalboy12: Haveta second him on that one. I think more than the bowlers, its going to be a battle of the batsmen. The team that bats better is going to take the series because neither team is going to bowl badly, that's for sure. And I think that's where England have a slight advantage with batting that runs deep. I think Boucher's absence leaves a lil hole in that lower middle order and on a bad day, South Africa could be bundled out for cheap if none of Smith, Amla, Kallis, DeVilliers last. Am a lil skeptical about Rudolph and Duminy....

Posted by landl47 on (July 14, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

@Praveen4honestremark: you were sure Australia would win every ODI against England, too. How did that work out for you (be honest)?

Posted by landl47 on (July 14, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

I'm a bit puzzled by Steyn's comment that it's been the same group of guys for quite a while now. It's actually been the same group of bowlers for 9 months, during which time they have played 7 tests. Philander and Tahir both made their debuts in November 2011. Steyn himself has a spotty record against England; he made his debut in 2004/5 in the series which England won, took 8 wickets at over 50 apiece and was dropped for a year. In his only visit to England in 2008 he had one good and one bad match, and then had 2 good matches out of 3 in the drawn series in 2009/10. He's a fine bowler, as his record shows, and England will have their hands full with him.

Posted by Percy_Fender on (July 14, 2012, 11:55 GMT)

This is with reference to the comment from Snowmbats. There are rabid comment makers from most of the countries not just India. Unfortunately for the Indian lot they lost badly in England and Australia after a period of being the number 1 ranked side as per the ICC scales and after winning the World Cup. The other reasons that have caused so much resentment to the Indian comment makers is that the BCCI is seen as a bully over the DRS issue even if some other teams also hold similar views on the efficacy of this system and because of the perception that India is a mighty economic power capable of spoiling everyone's party. I wish comment makers would not use this forum to spew traditional venom for a particular team.I wish the Indian comment makers would be balanced and not get carried away by their team's sporadically good performances.From 2000 India have been the only team to come close to the untouchable Aussies. Today if England has gone way ahead it is part of the unending cycle.

Posted by AKS286 on (July 14, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

very tough series because beating poms in eng is a very tough job record also shows this but all the teams which was visited eng does't have the good pace attack. as we know "AFRICAN DEADLY BARRAGE {steyn, morkel, philander, tsotsobe, de lange}" is fully capable to destroy ENG's fortress. eng has to attack the solid, powerfull batting of SA because this is the only way to win while SA bowling will not give ENG any chance. i think on ENG's pitch even a world class spinner Swann is not as effective as it should be so what about tahir? IMO SA has to add one more pace bowler to the barrage. duminy, rudolph will hande the spin or SA has to add one allrounder like der merve, ontong.

Posted by dalboy12 on (July 14, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

Saw South Africa in NZ this summer, and they look great - not yet convinced about Imran Tahir, reckon with Swann England will take them in the spin department. However, SA pace attack is every bit as good as England's they bowl very few bad deliveries. Whether its Steyn, Morkel or a still under rated Philander, England is going to fight for all their runs. Will be a great series, and reckon it will come down to what batsman really stand up --- If Cook has another series like the Ashes or Petersen or Bell score big then England will take it. On the other hand if Kallis, Amala or de Villers get on a roll then South Africa.

Posted by 5wombats on (July 14, 2012, 10:43 GMT)

Unsurprisingly the indian vultures are circling.... hoping against hope that South Africa can land a punch on England. Funny how indians love and respect any team that doesn't humiliate them, ie South Africa - in the drawn Test series in SA, but hate with a passion any team that beats india, like England or Australia. We remember the awful gloating remarks made by indians to Australia fans when New Zealand beat them in the Hobart Test. And we also remember all the india "fans" jumping on the bandwagon when indias traditional enemies Pakistan beat England in the Tests in UAE. The Pakistan fans were fine - as they always are. But the gloating from the indians was the worst ever seen on cricinfo - even though it had nothing whatsover to do with india. No other group of fans in the world behaves like this; Vultures - incapable of killing on their own but quick to pounce and tear up the victims of others.

Posted by Tigg on (July 14, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

2-1 England.

South Africa have the class but I don't think there bowling attack is neccesarily any better than Englands.

The county sides seemed to have handled Philander pretty well and he's been the real X-Factor of the Saffer attack over the last year. Steyn is always dangerous but he does have quiet patches and who knows which Morne will turn up. Tahir is over rated.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 14, 2012, 8:44 GMT)

I am sure SA wins 3-0 against ENG. Any one with me???

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (July 14, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

SA beware of one thing. Just don't get bogged down and loose hope when you are having tough time. You look tough guys but you are sensitive people, loads of talent and skill with you people but just remember the thing i mentioned. Be positive and be united whatever may happen on a day. SA, i back you to win this series. go for the kill. All the best. Kirsten sir, we will never forget you. You have an Indian support here. Go SA Go!!

Posted by shovwar on (July 14, 2012, 8:01 GMT)

@snowsnake...Please watch cricket before you comment on SA. All the away victories SA had that started with Australia ( the first team to beat Aus in Aus in a while)...SA was undefeated in India twice within that period. where they kinda run thru Indian batting line up twice. And what happened when SA visited England the last time? Please make sense....

Posted by PrasPunter on (July 14, 2012, 7:45 GMT)

As an Aussie, would love to see SA win. But hold on - which of these is the real one from SA ? Probably this is the one series where one country will be proud irrespective of which side wins !! Go Smith and Co !!

Posted by veerakannadiga on (July 14, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

English beware....Steyn Gun unleashed.. looking forward to a mouth watering series. can't wait..may the best team win. AMEN

Posted by jabrankundi on (July 14, 2012, 4:47 GMT)

@Snowsnake What do you mean that the away wins were against low ranked teams? SA have been unbeaten away since 2006. So what are you suggesting? I remember they beat England, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand away. SA won where India lost 4-0 against england. SA won where England lost 3-0 against Pakistan. I hope you do watch cricket.

Posted by SnowSnake on (July 13, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

South Africa has to start showing some results. All this talk is fine but results is where SA does not deliver. Barring recent NZ series win, SA barely drew tests on their home grounds with other major teams. What kept SA #2 was away wins (which England and India had difficultly achieving since they became #1). Although SA away wins were against low ranked teams, ICC rankings give more credit to away wins so it helped SA. The rhetoric of over estimation of SA skills at the beginning of each series is becoming passe now. SA needs more that rhetoric and systematic strategy. First, it should not lose its first test and take things one at a time. If SA loses first test then it is all over. England will run through SA in rest of series like hot knife through butter.

Posted by tennakoon63 on (July 13, 2012, 23:37 GMT)

Steyn is blowing his horn too much. Let's wait and see.

Posted by FreddyForPrimeMinister on (July 13, 2012, 21:54 GMT)

@SurlyCynic - hahaha, love it!! On a more serious note, I can't think of a series in recent years where the two teams are SO closely matched and where home advantage makes little difference as conditions suit both teams - unlike Eng/SA/Aus in sub-continent and vica-versa. Much as I love Jimmy A (being a Lancs fan!) I do think Steyn is the best bowler in the world right now - and his stats back that up. Also, I used to think of him as an unlikeable, miserable so and so, until the episode with Paul Collingwood in the last SA/Eng series, where after bowling an unplayable over to him, he just smiled and patted Colly on the back - brilliant sportsmanship and an example of how ALL cricket should be played. It seems he's a nice guy after all - though of course I still hope he goes home wicketless from the series in England.. :)

Posted by A_Vacant_Slip on (July 13, 2012, 21:30 GMT)

England will win this and it will be easier than most people predict. Only weather can prevent it. Remember - England easily destroySteyn is right it won't be pretty.

Posted by ranga_s on (July 13, 2012, 20:53 GMT)

I'm not stupid so I will best of lick to both teams.....As pack ENG batsmen got what it takes to take on SA quicks. And that guy Pietersen can murder anyone..Yet oh boy who wanna bet against Steyn & Morkel...SA batting is slightly weaker than English I'd say coz this will be all about pace bowling...Apart Tahir is nothing compared to Swann...But Anderson, Finn, Broad V Steyn, Morkel, Philander..Thats the series...Nt ENG V SA.

Posted by banhire on (July 13, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

England will not reach 300 in the six innings this series and will be whitewashed save for one that wil be rained out! This attck is awesome

Posted by gibbs.175 on (July 13, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

Dale is a gun ...when he starts ..all the batsmen fall like dry leaves....Sa batsmen could fail to score in ENG...but DALE must get bunch of wickets.....i m sure...(.Any body can play bet on it)...............COME ON DALE(GUN)....

Posted by The_Ashes on (July 13, 2012, 17:56 GMT)

Both England-South Africa are closely matched so everyone must be prepared and alert within those teams.

Posted by AKS286 on (July 13, 2012, 17:54 GMT)

AFRICAN DEADLY BARRAGE is capable to destroy any fortress. this series will be the clash of titans, better than ashes. can't wait to watch african challenge to eng's confidence. please prayall the fans no rain and bad weather.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (July 13, 2012, 17:42 GMT)

That's if the weather allows a result in any test. The 'summer' weather has been terrible, I blame Gordon Brown.

Posted by Praxis on (July 13, 2012, 17:13 GMT)

Anyone else noticed how rarely he gets injured? Compare it other current quicks who bowls at his speed. Is it due to his natural athleticism or SA management has some credit to it too?

Posted by whatawicket on (July 13, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

steyn you can bet if you have only taken 1 wicket as you say,at the end of the series. then your team has lost the series thats how much they need you.

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