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Dale Steyn

Wild thing

Bangalore's crocodile hunter likes the great outdoors, giving lip to Hayden, and hoping his girlfriend partners him in a Bond movie

AB de Villiers kisses Dale Steyn on getting a wicket, England v South Africa, 2nd Test, Leeds, 4th day, July 21, 2008
And now I christen you Julio © Getty Images

You always appear cheerful. What's your secret?
I enjoy playing cricket. I would rather be playing cricket than doing any other kind of job. I was born to play. Once I walk on to the field, there is no tiredness - it is all about performing and playing well and competing and pushing myself.

Does anyone or anything make you angry?
I can get upset like anybody else. I try and keep a smile on my face.

Dale Steyn, cricketer or Dale Steyn, crocodile hunter - which one do you prefer?
A mixture of both. I like to do my thing. I like to fish.

I caught a crocodile not so long ago and it was a total accident. It wasn't like I was fishing for one but a croc came out and hit my lure. I got some photos and even grabbed some videos. I can write about it in my book one day.

If not for cricket, what would you use cricket balls for?
Definitely to throw on the beach for my dog to catch. Sadie is a beautiful golden retriever. She's a machine. She follows me to the ocean and enjoys herself. She has already chewed up a couple of the cricket balls in my house.

What's your nickname?
I've got a couple. My grandparents call me Champ. All my team-mates call me Julio. AB de Villiers gave it to me about five years ago and it just stuck. There is no real reason for it.

Who's the most damaging batsman in cricket?
Virender Sehwag on his day, especially in home conditions, can be quite devastating. So can somebody like Chris Gayle.

Which cricketer would you pick to go with on a trip into the wild?
Actually I'll have to take both Morkel brothers - Albie and Morne. All three of us enjoy fishing, and they have a long history going into the bush and stuff like that, so they know their way around in the wild.

If you were to play James Bond, who would you pick as the female lead? Not counting your girlfriend.
You're gonna have to put my girlfriend, purely because she is an actress. Jeanne Kietzmann is her name and you need to put it down. Otherwise Natalie Portman, because she looks similar.

Tell us about one sledge you will never forget.
I still remember what Matthew Hayden said in my very first Test against Australia, last year in Perth. I bowled the first ball of the match to Simon Katich and it ran wide and Mark Boucher took it in front of first slip. Hayden turned around and said I was going to be so nervous the whole game that I would be bowling wides for the rest of the game. I shot back saying, "I doubt that I'm the nervous one because I don't have to come a day before the Test and sit in the middle of the pitch and try and visualise where I'm going to score my first runs." It was an interesting chat we had.

Are you talkative?
Very.

What does your girlfriend complain about regarding you?
That I am never at home.

When in South Africa do not forget to…
To go to Table Mountain and visit Kruger National Park.

The ball you cherish?
The delivery I bowled Michael Vaughan with in my debut Test, in the second innings.

Tell us something we don't know about you.
I don't like wearing shoes off the field. I'm a t-shirt-and-shorts sorta guy, completely.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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