India v South Africa, 1st Test, Nagpur, 3rd day February 8, 2010

Steyn credits ball change before tea

Cricinfo staff
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Dale Steyn has credited his seven-wicket haul in India's first innings to a ball change just before tea. India lost six wickets for 12 runs after tea, Steyn taking five of them.

"There was a ball change around tea time [it was actually a couple of overs before tea], the seam had split open…we came back after tea and the ball looped around a bit. It [change of ball] was a good thing," Steyn said after the day's play.

Asked what was different from conditions in the home series against England, Steyn said: "We have been speaking about these kind of wickets. We wanted to adapt as quickly as possible. We hit the right areas with the same intensity. On some days you can bowl the best of your life and not pick wickets and then you have some days."

The decision to follow on, he said, was taken by captain Graeme Smith after consultation with the bowlers. "There was a huddle after the Indian first innings. The batters came and told us that we were 300-odd runs ahead and asked if the bowlers had enough gas in the tank to go on and bowl another 26-27 overs.

"We said we were not finished yet and it would be good to take a couple of wickets in the second innings. We told them we had enough fuel in the tank. We were looking to take a couple of wickets by stumps and then we would come back tomorrow and finish the job."