India ‘will not be intimidated by the short ball’, says Dale Steyn

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“There will [be] no better or stiffer test of our skills than against India”

South Africa pace spearhead Dale Steyn has admitted that the Proteas will have to find out India’s weakness the hard way in their upcoming series since they are not “intimidated by the short ball”.

Steyn and his two partners in crime, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel, have troubled many international sides with their bouncers and short-pitched deliveries, but 30-year-old acknowledged that India are not like other teams.

“This Indian team is very ‘modern’ and they will not be intimidated by the short ball,” Steyn wrote in his column for the Times of India. “They all know what to expect and I know they won’t be vulnerable to a barrage of bouncers.”

However, Steyn believes that he still holds an advantage over the Indian batsmen as he has carefully studied their strengths and weaknesses.

“I use as much information as I can get about the opposition,” he said. “I have specific plans for all of the Indian batsmen and I can’t wait to put them into action.

“It’s always good to try and stay ahead of the game!”

Steyn has been in red-hot form over the past couple of months and he recently took a career-best six wickets for 39 runs in the second ODI against Pakistan.

“In two of my last three ODIs I have improved my career-best figures and much of the reason has been down to preparation and analysis,” he added. “Despite a couple of losses to Pakistan at home we know we are on the right path and improving all the time. There will [be] no better or stiffer test of our skills than against India.”

While Steyn is widely considered to be the best pace bowler in the world, the 30-year-old has shrugged off that title, stating that there is still room for improvement in some areas of his game.

“Sometimes, as a bowler, you think you have been bowling a certain line or length but the evidence suggests differently,” he said. “Even at the age of 30 and supposedly at the ‘top of my game’, I am learning all the time.”

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