South Africa news September 9, 2013

Steyn raring to go after three-month break

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dale Steyn, the South Africa fast bowler, has said he is excited to get back on the field after three months away from any competitive cricket. Steyn, who last played against West Indies during the Champions Trophy in June, said at the time that he was carrying no fewer than five injuries. As a consequence, he was forced to miss South Africa's tour of Sri Lanka in July.

Steyn's first assignment will be the Champions League T20, which starts on September 17. He is to fly out on Tuesday to join the Sunrisers Hyderabad, his IPL franchise. "There's nothing better than a bit of game time," Steyn said in Johannesburg on Sunday. "Playing a Twenty20 game, you're still out in the field on your feet. You're still bowling your overs at high intensity.

"After the Champions Trophy in England, people will remember I didn't play a lot of cricket there. I ended up with about five injuries walking away from that tournament. I had a side strain, groin, glute, neck and a bit of an ankle problem."

Steyn admitted that the first month of rehabilitation involved little more than taking it easy. "The doctors said I had to be off my feet for the next four weeks. I had four weeks where I did absolutely nothing, where I did no running or gyming."

He has since then stepped up his training in anticipation of the Champions League T20, and South Africa's series against Pakistan in the UAE in October. "I've had four weeks where I've been training really hard. I've [got] back to the gym, running and bowling.

"Two sessions a day for an hour and a half in the morning, then get back again in the afternoon. I haven't been going to bed so early since I was in primary school, so it shows that I've been working quite hard."

With the wickets in the UAE expected to offer little in terms of movement and bounce, Steyn chose to take a pragmatic approach. "You always want to play on wickets that are green and moving around. You don't always get those opportunities. That's why we play cricket.

"We get to play in some of the more difficult places in the world. If you just played at home, you could be a fantastic bowler with great skills on easy wickets to bowl on. It's nice to go and test your skills somewhere where those skills are rarely tested. There's not a lot of movement through the air, not a lot off the deck, so that's nice. It can be frustrating at times, but that's why we play these games."

With South Africa No.1 in the Test rankings, Steyn said it will be vital to keep the momentum going. "It would be fantastic if we could go there and win because it would hold us up there in that No.1 spot for a bit longer. It would make it difficult for other teams to knock us off that podium."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tim on September 13, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    Great to hear that Dale will be fit and raring. He is the fastest, meanest gun in town and a pleasure to watch. I was disappointed with Pakistan's performance in SA after all the talk. Maybe I shouldn't have been, but I'm always cautious when I watch the Green Machine. Pakistan seem to be struggling once more against the might of Zimbabwe. I'm sure they will improve for the UAE series and put on a good show. Whichever way they try and go, turners, green tops or anything in between, SA will have too much juice for them. Pakistan don't know how to bat and ultimately I believe this will be their undoing.

  • Phillip on September 11, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Pakistan can't even thrash Zimbabwe.Great spin of A.Rehman was thrashed by Zimbabwean batsmen.

  • Faizan on September 10, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    Pakistan had a humiliating tour of England in 2009 losing the test series 3-1. But Pakistan took revenge and vented out all their frustration in the Pakistan-England series (2011-12) where Pakistan whitewashed England 3-0. At that time England was the no. 1 Test team. Now the South Africans are coming to UAE as the no. 1 Test team after embarrasing Paistan in South Africa. I am sure the Pakistani team is itching to go guns blazing at the South Africans in UAE. I think Pak-SA series would have surprising results for SA.

  • Zubair on September 10, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    Last time when SA toured UAE and played against PAK, Steyn was handled pretty well there. He was thrashed all over the park in 4th and 5th ODI and was negotiated well by our batters in the tests. He played 2 tests I guess and during that series Dale Steyn averaged 46.33. So this gives me an idea that he wont get any help from the pitches in UAE! The only difference this time would be is SA will play as a No.1 Test side in the world, last time they were 2nd and Pakistan managed to draw the series.

  • thabo on September 10, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    I remember that game against the windies where steyn only bowled few overs and left due to injury and honestly that was frustrating as that led to a tie match result. And also his absence for SL tour showd lack of aggrexn from our bowlers that only two bowlers managed go thru. But now as a fan am happy to see him back on de game and also the whole entire nation for the upcoming tour series both pakistan and india.

  • Syed on September 9, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    I think philander will be the least effective in UAE. Steyn has the pace and ferocity and Morkel has the bounce whilst Philander doesn't have those but skill. However knowing Pakistan, he might get lots of wickets. Anyway Steyn good to see you back buddy.

  • Mahmood on September 9, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    Love to see that Steyn vs Hafiz :-)

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Pakistan will be wise to play on their strengths and don't even go close of making any kind of fast pitch. Broad and Gull enjoyed some life in pitches of UAE last year and Junaid got the ball to reverse against Sri Lanka so there is always something if you are good bowler which Styen is. Prepare rank turners and let them play Ajmal and Rehman on them. good luck Pakistan. Win another series in UAE.

  • Dummy4 on September 9, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Steyn vs Indian batters could have been such a cracking contest had the tour gone on as expected. It would have been a classic test against the Indian batters who are going through a purple patch. This would have gotten them experience and would have shown the fans how good they really are. Pity.