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.