South Africa news September 24, 2013

Steyn hopes for battle with Dhawan

ESPNcricinfo staff
33

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

  • McGorium 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.).

  • SamRoy 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.

  • 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.

  • mzm149 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.

  • 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.

  • heartfree 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.

  • DeckChairand6pack 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.

  • GRVJPR 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.

  • Sandt 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.

  • siddhartha87 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.

  • McGorium 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.).

  • SamRoy 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.

  • 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.

  • mzm149 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.

  • 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.

  • heartfree 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.

  • DeckChairand6pack 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.

  • GRVJPR 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.

  • Sandt 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.

  • siddhartha87 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.

  • rock.rockyin on September 24, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    @Tanvir Ahmad No country is inviting Pakistan at the moment. Its not the other way around. Yes we (IND) had a whitewash in Eng and Aus.. we have made changes. I still see the pak fans moaning abt the same TEST team playing ever and ever with non peroformers and Vetarans. Pls get a tour to Eng and Aus first ? Next year it should be Pak who shud be visiting in 2014.. but its not happening... First pls sort out the issues within yourselves then you can compare with India. ohh yeah.. why not try to win agaisnt ZIM... ? lolll

  • on September 24, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    @sitanshu & @screamingeagle Head to Head Record in ODIs is 71-50 (Pakistan & Head To Head Record in Tests: 12-9 (Pakistan). Last Bilateral Series: 2-1 (Pakistan)

  • mailinsiddu on September 24, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    @ Tribal Cricket :: NO NO NO. Not all the non - Performing players are removed. Remember SACHIN is still playing!!!

  • on September 24, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Dhawan is a good player no doubt, but he hasn't been tested in SA condition. This is a brand new Indian test team & important for us to look this tour as a learning experience. i dont mind a 3-0 white wash, if India plays with dhawan pujara kohli rohit rahane in most of the test matches. sehwag/ gambhir can be used as a back up opener but i would prefer Dinesh Kartikh as a back up becoz he can serve the purpose of opener middle order & wicket keeper.

  • on September 24, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    @ Tanvir - How would India lose to Pak? Did Pak not just lose to Zim, who India thrashed 1 month back?

  • ReverseSweepIndia on September 24, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    As a fan, I hope that tour goes ahead. It can be a complete no-contest as it happened in Eng/Aus. But if turn out to be a contest, which I believe will happen, this team can surprise SA. The reason for this belief is, I have seen it time & again that all the youngsters have the temperament to play at this level. Do they have skills too? We will find out provided some inflated egos listen us fans.

  • screamingeagle on September 24, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    @Tanvir Ahmed, please try and win against Zimbabwe before shooting your mouth off...'mate'

  • Tribal_Cricket on September 24, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    This is not the team which lost 8-0 overseas, all the non performing players are removed. And I am sure India will give a fight to SA in this tour. And don't count out Dhawan or any other Indian batsmen. Steyn recognised some talent in Dhawan, that;s why he mentioned in the first place, who are you all to disagree.

  • on September 24, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    @Sam Roy

    I agree with your post apart from Sachin point..he is just 1 innings away from getting touch and if he fails against WI then he must take a call but still he can bounce back.

    On Zaheer and Shewag point you are spot on mate... completely agree both are spent forces

  • on September 24, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    Absolutely shambolic to have Dhawan as captain of Sunrisers when Cameron White had been doing such a great job and is more established in T20 format. This is where IPL and CL lack integrity for me. For now you still have to consider Dhawan a flat track bully as he has not proven overseas in seaming conditions. Trust me its no contest between Steyn and Dhawan in SA and Dhawan may score the odd 50 at best but I see SA pacers knocking him over cheaply on most occasions. Of course Steyn has to butter him up playing under his captaincy. @ Ankur Mathur, do u really understand the game mate? When did India become better than Eng and for sure they are ranked 3rd or 4th in the world. Even pakistan would beat Ind in UAE so they keep avoiding them. Please dont forget the twin 4-0 whitewashes from Eng and SA so Ind have a long way to go in Tests especially with a young batting line up and pace attack that hasnt yet proved themselves.

  • SamRoy on September 24, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @Ankur Mathur Tendulkar will be lucky if he averages 10! Zaheer will be lucky if he can play two test matches at pick fitness. Both are spent forces along with Sehwag. Zaheer and Sehwag can still play ODIs, if required. But with Dhawan and Rohit opening in ODIs do we need Sehwag who is way past his prime? Don't think so. Zaheer can stay with the bowling unit and give valuable advice to the young pacemen. Can be a part of the squad if he is not playing. Sort of non-playing captain for the bowlers.

  • mani86 on September 24, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    No point going for a test series at this point. India will get thrashed. Going in a year's time would make sense after we rebuild the team. Smart move by the BCCI.

  • SebV on September 24, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Man, isn't Steyn the greatest bowler and a fine human being? He shows so much respect for fellow sportsmen and his passionate celebrations show how much their wickets mean to him when he gets one over them.

  • on September 24, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Would like to add that i pray that tour goes on and with a minimum of 3 tests or at best 4 test.....i think India can go for only a test tour right now and later in 2014 tour there for 7 ODI and 2 t20 as per demand of CSA...that would be best thing

  • on September 24, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    steyn vs dhawan - steyn would win easy.

  • on September 24, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    @ Ankur Mathur: can you pls explain what was the mistake CSA did and for what grounds BCCI can forgive CSA ?? you re telling India is among the two best test teams in the world... are you kidding. There is no doubt India is the best ODI team currently. They have proven it outside India as well. But as a test team they are far far far behind the best. Now don't tell me about the recent Aus test series. India won against the worst ever Australian team in the history in pitches which were turning square. Before that there was famous 8-0 and after that Eng came (one of the best test teams atm) and beat India badly at their own backyard.

  • on September 24, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    Politics first. If players are playing for free, viewers can whine over not giving a player chance for a battle. The whole sport is based on economics, which in turn is based on politics.

  • on September 24, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Pujara, Dhawan at the top, Kolhi at the middle and Dhoni batting with the tail are very crucial for India's success in SA when it comes to batting, these are the names who has some talent to perform away from India though they have not proven it convincingly yet. I dont think Tendulkar will click, he has become more a liability to the team these days. How long will BCCI administrators/Selectors tolerate Tendulkar's non performance just for his sheer popularity, no answer yet but one place is reserved for Tendulkar, only ten players are selected by performance.

    India doesnt have a great bowling attack in SA conditions [we never had a great bowling attack ever in a foriegn soil], it is the batting that has to click big time.

  • CrICkeeet on September 24, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    STYNE, u can fight with dhawan, bt u cant fight with BCCI nd their Famous "Politics"!

  • on September 24, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    India vs SA will be a great contest...probably the two bestest teams by far in world cricket. South Africa board made a mistake but why make players pay for that. BCCI must forgive CSA and go ahead with the series between two great teams.

    Kallis, Smith , Zaheer , Ashwin , Jadeja , De Vileers , Steyn himself , Dhawan the destroyer , Kohli , Morkel and the great GOD "Tendulkar"...woww what a contest it would be between 2 super teams.

  • jokerbala on September 24, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    I normally would not eagerly await any India Batsman's battle against Steyn and co, as we all know what is going to happen (collapse), bit this time Shikar has been batting like a dream and is a gifted stroke maker with positive intent , unlike few flat track bullies India have.I would even go as far as backing Shikar to put SA attack to the sword if they lock horns a la KP last season.

  • Ashishreddy1994 on September 24, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    Bcci denail about tour shows when money talks every thing around it falls silent.hope the team i support yhat is my country is up against best and show to world they are strong outside sub continent

  • on September 24, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Dawan is not just "Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate ", he is Steyn's captain as well, how about a battle with one of your captains? Quiet exciting for anybody.....

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  • on September 24, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    Dawan is not just "Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate ", he is Steyn's captain as well, how about a battle with one of your captains? Quiet exciting for anybody.....

  • Ashishreddy1994 on September 24, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    Bcci denail about tour shows when money talks every thing around it falls silent.hope the team i support yhat is my country is up against best and show to world they are strong outside sub continent

  • jokerbala on September 24, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    I normally would not eagerly await any India Batsman's battle against Steyn and co, as we all know what is going to happen (collapse), bit this time Shikar has been batting like a dream and is a gifted stroke maker with positive intent , unlike few flat track bullies India have.I would even go as far as backing Shikar to put SA attack to the sword if they lock horns a la KP last season.

  • on September 24, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    India vs SA will be a great contest...probably the two bestest teams by far in world cricket. South Africa board made a mistake but why make players pay for that. BCCI must forgive CSA and go ahead with the series between two great teams.

    Kallis, Smith , Zaheer , Ashwin , Jadeja , De Vileers , Steyn himself , Dhawan the destroyer , Kohli , Morkel and the great GOD "Tendulkar"...woww what a contest it would be between 2 super teams.

  • CrICkeeet on September 24, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    STYNE, u can fight with dhawan, bt u cant fight with BCCI nd their Famous "Politics"!

  • on September 24, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Pujara, Dhawan at the top, Kolhi at the middle and Dhoni batting with the tail are very crucial for India's success in SA when it comes to batting, these are the names who has some talent to perform away from India though they have not proven it convincingly yet. I dont think Tendulkar will click, he has become more a liability to the team these days. How long will BCCI administrators/Selectors tolerate Tendulkar's non performance just for his sheer popularity, no answer yet but one place is reserved for Tendulkar, only ten players are selected by performance.

    India doesnt have a great bowling attack in SA conditions [we never had a great bowling attack ever in a foriegn soil], it is the batting that has to click big time.

  • on September 24, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    Politics first. If players are playing for free, viewers can whine over not giving a player chance for a battle. The whole sport is based on economics, which in turn is based on politics.

  • on September 24, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    @ Ankur Mathur: can you pls explain what was the mistake CSA did and for what grounds BCCI can forgive CSA ?? you re telling India is among the two best test teams in the world... are you kidding. There is no doubt India is the best ODI team currently. They have proven it outside India as well. But as a test team they are far far far behind the best. Now don't tell me about the recent Aus test series. India won against the worst ever Australian team in the history in pitches which were turning square. Before that there was famous 8-0 and after that Eng came (one of the best test teams atm) and beat India badly at their own backyard.

  • on September 24, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    steyn vs dhawan - steyn would win easy.

  • on September 24, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    Would like to add that i pray that tour goes on and with a minimum of 3 tests or at best 4 test.....i think India can go for only a test tour right now and later in 2014 tour there for 7 ODI and 2 t20 as per demand of CSA...that would be best thing