South Africa news September 24, 2013

Steyn hopes for battle with Dhawan

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dale Steyn has said he would look forward to the contest with Shikhar Dhawan, his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate and India's likely first-choice Test opener, if India's tour to South Africa is finalised. There is uncertainty over the tour, scheduled for later this year, and a decision is likely to be taken after the BCCI's AGM on September 29.

"Shikhar [Dhawan] is in some good form right now," Steyn told Wisden India. "It will be nice to have that contest especially now that I know him well. It will be a great battle between good friends as well as strength and strength because he is batting really well at the moment."

Steyn has played 10 Tests against India in which he has collected 53 wickets at an average of 19.00. During India's last tour to South Africa in 2010-11, he was the leading wicket-taker in the drawn series with 21 dismissals in the three matches.

"It would be quite nice if India come to South Africa," he said. "There has always been a great rivalry between the two sides."

Steyn, back in action in the Champions League after three months away from cricket due to injuries, said he was gradually getting into the rhythm of bowling and the tournament was ideal preparation for the season ahead.

"I don't think you want to jump straight into the shark tank with the longer version, it's quite difficult, so this is about getting perfect," he said. "You get a couple of hours of competitive cricket and you can stand in the field for 20 overs. It's not exactly the ideal preparation for Test match cricket but I think it's a good start for me.

"I am just taking it easy. There is no point in going full tilt from the first ball; you have to build it up. I feel like every game that I have played so far on the tournament, I have gotten better."

Steyn will lead the South Africa bowling attack next month in the two Tests against Pakistan in the UAE, which begin from October 14.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arun on September 25, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    @ mzm149: Rankings don't lie. The ICC rankings (which likely includes the 4-0 whitewashes you speak of) have India and England tied for #2 spot at 116 points. SAF is deservedly the best team, and England deserves to be #2. Aus is going through a whitewash like India did 2-3 years ago: 4-0 in India, 4-0 in England, and is #4. As for the rest, the less said, the better. Pak can't beat the current Zim setup, SRL are in trouble, WI aren't doing great either. There are really only the top 4-5 sides that are playing test cricket at a competitive level (or even taking it seriously). So yeah, overhyped or not, the team is certainly better than most of the teams that are ranked below Australia. (BTW, India didn't play Pak in a test in India, so I don't know what you're talking about. If you meant ODI's, lets look at that data: India lost to Pak 2-1, then beat England 3-2. And you probably forgot the more recent champions trophy unbeaten streak that included wins against Pak and Eng.).

  • sam on September 25, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    I do not understand the amount of hatred there is present for the Indian Cricket Team. Yes, BCCI are bad but that doesn't mean the Indian Team are villains. Some of the players like Sreesanth, Harbhajan and now Kohli are arrogant but that doesn't mean the rest are arrogant. MS Dhoni is one of the calmest and most balanced individuals you are ever going to meet. The reason India lost 8-0 was old baggage in Laxman, Tendulkar, Dravid (in Australia), Zaheer, Sehwag and out of form not so old Gambhir. Also perenially useless Mr. Ishant Sharma. Add to that Dhoni's defensive captaincy. But now promising youngsters are coming into the foray. If Dhoni and Gambhir (as a middle order bat) are still around to guide them India will become a dominant team in all forms of the game.

  • Dummy4 on September 24, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    White is a great Captain, but the issue is he is not an automatic selection. In IPL 6 it was swinging between White and Sanga, one of them sitting in every match. So SRH needs a captain, performing & an automatic selection for every game, preferably an Indian Player, after all SRH is an Indian Domestic Team.

  • Muhammad on September 24, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Can't wait to watch some overhyped batsmen getting exposed in front of world's best bowling lineup after whitewashes against England and Australia. Steyn is looking forward to the contest because he can't wait to bowl out another team under 100.

    These batsmen couldn't do anything significant in their own backyard against Pakistan and England last year. Who expects them to perform in South Africa.

    Best part would be when medium paced trundlers will get good spanking from Amla, Kallis, de Villiers and Kallis.

  • Dummy4 on September 24, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    Is Steyn, the same bowler after his injury ? I am not sure he has gained any momentum after he has come back.

  • Imran on September 24, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    First of all I want to make it clear that we all should be cricket fan first then country. As a pakistani team fan, yes I am disappointed of pak performance against ZIM but as a cricket fan.ZIM was the right team to win the test as they showed all the determination and passion to win.

    I am not in favour of comparing teams like people doing for IND VS PAK..both teams having good & bad times before. so instead of telling that this and that team is bad is waste of time. BE A CRICKET FAN.

  • Tim on September 24, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    Dale Steyn is a thoroughbred. One of the many things that amazes me about his capabilities is the way that he oftens bowls faster at the end of a long day than at the beginning. When most get worn down and tired, he fires it up and gets better and sharper. I only hope the series happens it will be a great contest - The Green Machine to shade it.

  • GAURAV on September 24, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    First of all congratulations to zimbabwe for dominating pakistan after getting hammered by India. Thank you for exposing the poor technique of pakistani batsmen. Why they struggle is because they are too old. Some of them look like 50 year old but say they are 30 (still old).

    As far as India VS SA is concerned It will be a good battle. SA can't beat India on the last tour despite India's wall Rahul Dravid having bad tour. For those who are predicting failure of dhawan in SA are behaving like an astrologer. Even Grame Smith and Sehwag struggled in opening role there, that doesn't mean they are bad, RIGHT! Shikhar will have his chance and will try his best.

  • Sandeep on September 24, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    @Tanwir- Pak beating India in UAE. Joke or what.what has Pak team now.They dont have a proper batting line up even against Zimbabwe. And about Eng being better side than India they have just become recently. Earlier Eng was only good in English conditions and even India has beaten them there also.Regarding captaincy change of White to Dhawan.What white has done nothing offcourse team needs a performing captain.And Dhawan being playing outisde indian conditions her has not played any test in overseas conditions.Let him play first and see how he performs.Before that giving such comments is just a hatred towards India team from you.And you are not a astrologer to predit that fast bowlers will knock down Dhanwan etc.

  • siddhartha on September 24, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Hopefully this series goes on. BCCI has already planned another torturing ODI series against SriLanka which i want to avoid at any cost.Regarding the test series i don't think India can take 20 wickets to win a test.

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